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1 31957 



Bishop Administrator of Chicago. 

Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1877, by 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 




WHO defined the dogma of the Immaculate 
Conception of the Virgin Mother. 

Who convened the CEcumenical Council of 
the Vatican, and defined the dogma of Papal 

Who is the Successor of St. Peter, the Supreme 
Head of the immortal Church of Christ, the Infal 
lible Teacher and Guardian of the Faith, the 
Sovereign Judge of Councils, enjoying the Primacy 
both of honor and of jurisdiction, the Centre of 
Christian faith and unity ; the Corner-stone upon 
which the City of God on earth reposes, the Prince 
of priests, the Pastor of pastors, the Guide of 
guides, the cardinal Joint of all Churches, the 
Keystone of the Catholic Arch, the impregnable 
Citadel of the communion of the children of God. 

Who lives in the hearts of more than two hun 
dred millions of Christians, and in whose heart the 
whole world lives: 

This work is most reverently dedicated by his 
unworthy priest and devoted Son in Christ. 




Dedication - - - - - - .. .. . jjj 


Introductory .-.-.. - - ix 


The value and necessity of Christian Doctrine - - . . X xi 


An exhortation to spread the Truth --.... xxxv 



Why we are in this World ?---.-... -3 

What is most Necessary for us to know and to believe? - 8 

Who is Good before God ?-----. -10 
What will be the Eeward of the Good ?---.. 12 
What will be the Punishment of the Wicked ? - - - - 13 
What then should be our Greatest Care in this World ? 15 


1. God the Father our Teacher ------- 17 

Who can teach us how to serve God according to his Will? - 17 

How does God make Himself known by the Visible World ? - 18 

How does God make Himself known by our Conscience? - - 20 



When did God make Himself known by his Word? ... 23 

Who were the Patriarchs ? - 24 

How did the Patriarchs serve God ? - - - - - -29 

Who were the Prophets ? 32 

How did the Prophets prove their Divine Mission ? 33 

What is a Miracle ? 33 

To whom does God grant the Gift of Miracles ? - - - 34 

What is a Prophecy ? 38 

Why were all those Prophecies made ? - - - - - -42 

In whom were all those Prophecies fulfilled ? - 43 

In what Condition was Mankind at the Coming of the Redeemer ? 43 

2. God the Son our Teacher 45 

Through whom did God reveal Himself most clearly ? 45 
How do we know that Jesus Christ is the Promised Redeemer and 

the Son of God? 47 

Whom did Christ appoint to teach his Doctrine to all Nations ? 54 

How were the Apostles prepared for their Divine Mission? 55 

What were those Powers of Christ ? 57 

What did Christ call the Apostles and those who believed in Him ? 58 

Whom did Christ appoint to take his Place ? 60 

What Power had the other Apostles as Teachers ? - - - - 61 

What Power had the Apostles as Priests ? 62 

What Power had the Apostles as Rulers or Pastors of the Church ? 66 

How long will the Church last ? - - 69 

How can Christ be with his Apostles to the End of the World, since 

the Apostles died ? 70 

Who is the Lawful Successor of St. Peter? 71 

Who are the Lawful Successors of the other Apostles ? 75 

3. God the Holy Ghost our Teacher - 77 

Were the Apostles to exercise their Powers immediately after they 

had received them ?---_____ 77 

When did the Holy Ghost come down upon the Apostles ? - 81 

How did the Apostles prove their Divine Mission ? - 83 
Is, then, the Doctrine of the Apostles to be received as the Doctrine 

of Christ? .85 



Does then, the Holy Ghost abide -with the Church ? - 88 

Why does the Holy Ghost abide with the Church ? ... .,- 90 
How does the Holy Ghost preserve the Church in the Purity of 

Faith? 91 

When does the Pope, by the Assistance of the Holy Ghost, teach 

infallibly? 100 

Are, then, the Definitions of the Pope New Articles of Faith ? - 105 

Is Man, then, Infallible?- - - - 107 

How does the Holy Ghost preserve the Unity of Faith in the Church? 108 

What then is the Faith of the Koman Catholic? 110 

4. The Catholic Church the Guardian of Divine Truth - - 118 

Has the Word of God been preserved Pure and Uncorrupted ? - 118 

How does the Church preserve the Word of God? - - - - 121 

What is Holy Scripture ?-- - - - - - - 125 

How is the Holy Scripture divided ? 125 

What do the Books of the Old and the New Testament contain ? 126 

What is Tradition? 128 

How has the Unwritten Word of God come down to us ? - - 134 
Must we believe the Unwritten Word of God just as firmly as the 

Written? 137 

Is it Easy for Every One to understand the Holy Scripture ? - 139 

Who is the Infallible Interpreter of Holy Scripture ? 141 

Does not the Church forbid the Reading of the Bible? 142 
Why does the Church forbid the Private Interpretation of the 

Bible? - 144 


How many Churches did Christ establish ? - - - - - 153 

By what Marks is the Church of Christ easily known ? - - - 154 

Which Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic ? 156 

Show how the Catholic Church is One 156 

Show how the Catholic Church is Holy ----- 165 

What does the Word Catholic mean? 179 

Show how the Eoman Church is Catholic, or Universal - - 180 



Show how the Catholic Church is Apostolic. ----- 199 

Why is the Catholic Church called Koman? ... 203 

Did this Power of the Pope also include the Power to depose 

Temporal Bulers ? 206 

Can Protestant Sects claim to be One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic ? 224 
If, then, only the Koman Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and 

Apostolic, what follows? 243 

Is the Faith of the Boman Catholic Divine or Human ? - - - 250 

Do Protestant Sects teach Divine Faith on Divine Authority? - 251 

Will such Human Faith save them ? 261 

Must, then, all who wish to be saved, die united to the Catholic 

Church? - - - - - - - - - - 264 

Who are not Members of the Boman Catholic Church ? - - - 267 
Why are those Persons lost who have been justly excommunicated, 

and who are Unwilling to do what is required of them before 

they are absolved ? ........ 272 

Would it be right to say that one who was not received into the 

Church before his Death is damned ?----- 285 

Will all Catholics be saved? 300 

What do we beliove when we say, "I believe the Holy Catholio 

Church "? . .. ........ 305 


A Word to every Catholio - ^L - - - - - _ 329 



OUR Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, has declared thai 
he was sent by his heavenly Father "to preach the 
Gospel to the poor." (Luke iv, 18.) "Let us go," said 
he to his apostles, " into the neighboring towns and 
cities, that I may preach there also, for to this purpose 
am I come." (Mark i, 38.) This mission of Jesus Christ 
was and is to be continued by his priests : " As the 
Father hath sent me, I also send you." Immediately 
before ascending to heaven, he again laid and impressed 
upon all pastors of souls that most important duty of 
preaching. His last solemn word to those whom he 
charged to continue his work is : " All power is given to 
me in heaven and on earth." The universe belongs to me 
by title of heritage. Already heaven is acquired by my 
labors and sufferings. The earth remains to be conquered, 
and I rely on you, my apostles, my priests, to subdue 
it to the empire of my grace : " Go, then, and teach all 
nations, and preach my Gospel to every creature." 

In compliance with this obligation, "the apostles went 
forth and preached everywhere " (Mark xvi, 20), in the 
face of all kinds of opposition. " They obeyed God 
rather than men." (Acts v, 29.) St. Paul would not 
even allow any one to regard as a merit his zeal to 


announce the Gospel. To preach was for him, as he tells 
us, a necessity. He uttered against himself a kind of 
anathema if ever he neglected so sacred a duty: "Woe 
to me if I do not preach the Gospel !" What he most 
emphatically insisted on, in his Epistles to Timothy and 
Titus, was the duty of preaching the word of God* He 
adjures his two ; disciples, and all pastors of souls, by all 
that is most holy and awful; he adjures them by the 
presence of God and of Jesus Christ, by his future com 
ing, by his eternal reign, to preach the word of God, to 
preach it in season and out of season to use all per 
suasive means which the most ardent charity inspires : 
" I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall 
judge the living and the dead, by his coming and his 
kingdom, preach the word; be instant in it in season 
and out of season ; reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience 
and doctrine." (2 Tim. iv, 1, 2.) 

Hence the Church has never ceased to exhort her pas 
tors to discharge most faithfully their duty of preaching 
the word of God. In one of her canons she ordains that, 
if a priest having charge of souls should fail to give them 
the bread of the word of God, he should be himself 
deprived of the Eucharistic Bread; and if he continue 
in his criminal silence, he should be suspended. The 
preaching of the word of God has, indeed, always been 
the great object of the solicitude of the Church. The 
Council of Trent arms the bishops with her thunders, and 
charges them to inflict her censures upon those mute 
pastors whom the Holy Ghost has branded as "dumb 
dogs, not able to bark." (Isa. lyi, 10.) The all-important 
duty of giving religious instruction was never more bind 
ing, and more necessary to be complied with, than it is in 


our age. What the Fathers of the Council of Trent say 
on this duty applies more emphatically to our age and 
country : 

11 As the preaching of the divine word," they say, 
" should never be interrupted in the Church of God, so 
in these our days it becomes necessary to labor, with more 
than ordinary zeal and piety, to nurture and strengthen 
the faithful with sound and wholesome doctrine, as with 
the food of life : for false prophets have gone forth into 
the world (1 John iv, 1), with various and strange 
doctrines (Heb. xiii, 9), to corrupt the minds of the faith 
ful, of whom the Lord has said : I sent them not, and 
they ran j I spoke not to them, yet they prophesied. 
(Jer. xxiii, 21.) 

" In this unholy work their impiety, versed as it is in 
all the arts of Satan, has been carried to such extremes, 
that it would seem almost impossible to confine it within 
bounds ; and did we not rely on the splendid promises of 
the Saviour, who declared that he had built his Church on 
so solid a foundation that the gates of hell should never 
prevail against it (Matt, xvi, 18), we should be filled with 
most alarming apprehensions, lest, beset on every side by 
such a host of enemies, assailed by so many and such 
formidable engines, the Church of God should, in these 
days, fall beneath their combined efforts. Not to mention 
those illustrious states which heretofore professed, in piety 
and holiness, the Catholic faith, transmitted to them by 
their ancestors, but are now gone astray, wandering from 
the paths of ; truth, and openly declaring that their best 
claims of piety are founded on a total abandonment of 
the faith of their fathers, -there is no region however 
remote, no place however securely guarded, no corner of 


the Christian republic, into which this pestilence has not 
sought secretly to insinuate itself. Those who proposed 
to themselves to corrupt the minds of the faithful, aware 
that they could not hold immediate personal intercourse 
with all, and thus pour into their ears their poisoned doc 
trines, by adopting a different plan, disseminated error 
and impiety more easily and extensively. Besides those 
voluminous works by which they sought the subversion 
of the Catholic faith, they also composed innumerable 
smaller books, which, veiling their errors under the sem 
blance of piety, deceived with incredible facility the simple 
and the incautious." (Preface to the Catechism of the 
Council of Trent.) "It is, indeed, incumbent upon the 
ministers of the altar, 7 says our Holy Father, Pius IX, 
in his address of 1877 to the Lenten preachers, " to lift up 
their voices as loudly as possible, to save society from the 
abyss." " Cry," says the Lord to the pastor, "cease not, 
lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their 
wicked doings." (Isa. Iviii, 1.) " If thou dost not speak 
to warn the wicked man from his way, that wicked man 
shall die in his iniquity, but I will require his blood at 
thy hand." (Ezech. xxxiii, 8.) 

Now, if we see such perverse zeal in the ministers of 
Satan to spread, by all possible means, their doctrines, with 
what zeal should not Christians, and especially Christian 
pastors, be moved to make known the ^Gospel truths, and 
repeat them in season and out of season, regardless of 
fastidious minds which are displeased when a priest 
repeats a thing, and goes over old but necessary ground 
again ! " What !" exclaims St. Francis de Sales, " what ! 
is it not necessary, in working iron, to heat it over and 
over again, and in painting, to touch and retouch the 


canvas repeatedly J How much more necessary, then, is 
it to repeat the same thing again and again, in order to 
imprint eternal truths on hardened intellects, and on hearts 
confirmed in evil ! St. John the Baptist and the Apostle 
St. Paul spoke from out their prison walls j St. Peter 
spoke freely and forcibly before the ancients, saying that 
it is better to obey God than men j and the Apostle St. 
Andrew spoke from the wood of the cross." 
. When in Japan, St. Francis Xavier climbed mountains, 
and exposed himself to innumerable dangers, to seek out 
those wretched barbarians in the caverns where they dwelt 
like wild beasts, and to instruct them in the truths of 
salvation. St. Francis de Sales, in the hope of converting 
the heretics of the province of Chablais, risked his life 
by crossing a river every day for a year, on his hands 
and knees, upon a frozen beam, that he might reach, and 
preach to, those stubborn men. St. Fidelis, in order to 
bring the heretics of a certain place back to God, cheer 
fully offered up his life for their salvation. 

Being desirous to contribute my mite to meet and 
withstand the mischievous activity of the emissaries of 
Satan, to rear the edifice of Christian knowledge on its 
own secure and solid basis, the true teaching of its divinely 
commissioned teachers, to afford the great mass of the 
faithful a fixed standard of Christian belief, easily accessible 
to their understanding, and to pastors a practical form of 
religious instruction ; to supply a pure and ever-flowing 
fountain of living waters, to refresh and strengthen at 
once the pastor and the flock, I have, to the best of my 
ability, arranged in order, expounded, I trust with clear 
ness, and sustained by argument, the entire economy of 
religion, comprehending, as it does, the whole substance of 


doctrinal and practical religion. As, in imparting instruc 
tion of any sort, the method and manner of communicating 
it are of considerable importance, so, in conveying instruc 
tion to the people, the method and manner should be 
deemed of the greatest moment. As to the method, I have 
been guided by St. Augustine, who says in his treatise, 
" Manner of Teaching the Ignorant :" " The true method 
of teaching religion is to begin our account of religion from 
the creation of all things in a state of perfection, and de 
velop the whole history of Christianity down to the exist 
ing period of the Church, and, through the Church, down 
to our own time ;" in other words, to show how Almighty 
God, from the beginning of the world, has always been 
the teacher of mankind through those whom he first 
taught in person, and then commanded to teach others in 
his name and by his authority. This method I have followed 
in my series of Catechisms as the one which appeared to 
me the most natural, the most sensible, the easiest to be 
understood, the best calculated to establish faith, and the 
most necessary in our age of unbelief and corruption. 
What is more natural than to speak first of the divine 
teacher, and afterward of what he teaches ? What more 
sensible than to rear the sublime edifice of all Christian 
knowledge on its own secure and solid foundation, the 
authority of God in the Church ? What more easy to be 
understood than the foundation of our religion, if historically 
developed ? What can be better calculated to inspire 
faith than the method which shows how God teaches us 
through those whom he has appointed to teach in his name 
and by his authority? What, above all, more necessary 
in these days than to give Catholics and non-Catholics 
a correct idea of the spirit and essence of our religion, 


in order to make them love and embrace it with a stead 
fast faith f 

A large portion of the Catholic laity are insufficiently 
instructed in the principles and reasons of their religion, 
and need a fuller instruction, in order to detect and resist 
the wiles of their Protestant and infidel enemies, who lie 
in wait for their souls. They need the fullest instruction, 
not only in Catholic dogmas and practices, but in the 
great underlying principles which show that the Church 
is inherent in the divine order of creation and represents 
it, and that whatever is incompatible with her teaching is 
incompatible with her divine order, nay, with the Divine 
Being himself. They need it, in order to detect and 
avoid the poisonous breath of the world. The Church is 
not the one religious body among many j it is the only 
religious body. As without God there is nothing, so 
without the Church, or outside of her, there is no religion, 
no spiritual life. All the pretended religions outside of 
her are shams, at best have no basis, stand on nothing, and 
are nothing, and can give no life or support to the soul, 
but leave it out of the divine order to drop into hell. Cath 
olics need to know this, and to understand well how their 
religion is based on divine revelation, and its guardian 
ship on earth invested in a body of men presided over by an 
infallible guide, divinely commissioned to teach all men, 
authoritatively and infallibly, all its sacred and immutable 
truths, truths which we are consequently bound in con 
science to receive without hesitation. This is the fixed 
standard of Christian belief; it is the basis upon which 
all dogmas rest. If this all-important truth is well under 
stood by Catholics, they will not easily be caught in the 
snares of infidelity. 


Nor can a discussion of doctrinal points be of any great 
use for one who is not thoroughly convinced of the divine 
authority of the Church. This being once accepted, every 
thing else follows logically, as a matter of course. Hence, 
no one should be admitted to the fold of Christ who 
does not firmly hold and declare that the Roman Catholic 
Church ruled by the successor of St. Peter is God s sole 
appointed teacher of the Gospel on earth. However 
familiar persons outside the fold may be with Catholic 
doctrines, or however much they may believe in Catholic 
dogmas, without holding this the fundamental truth of Cath 
olic faith, they should never be allowed to join the Church. 
The moment it is well understo9d and firmly believed, 
there need be but little delay about their abjuration. 

As to the manner of presenting the truths of the Cath 
olic religion, it should be, says St. Francis de Sales in 
his happy way, very charitable. " Mildness," said he, 
" has more influence over men than severity. We catch 
more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a barrel of 
vinegar. Pride is so natural to man, especially to relig 
ious sectarians, because they have no infallible authority 
for their doctrine. Hence every harsh W9rd imbitters 
their hearts, rather than instructs them. Every time I 
have made use of cutting language, of reproachful or 
fault-finding words, I had cause to regret it. If it has 
been my fortune to win over some heretics" ( he is said to 
have converted seventy-two thousand), " it is to be attrib 
uted to the power of^ gentleness. Charity and sincere 
affection have more influence over the heart, I will not 
say than severity, but even more than the force and 
solidity of argument. Jesus Christ, who might have 
thought severity necessary toward the stiff-necked Jews. 


nevertheless taught his divine doctrine with unparalleled 
amiability and affection. Those who allow their zeal to 
get the better of their temper when conversing with sin 
ners and non-Catholics, make their cause suspicious. The 
light of truth, even when presented by a cautious hand, 
often injures the weak eyes of dissenters ; but when it is 
rashly, and regardlessly of feelings and dispositions, thrust 
full into the face, it entirely blinds them. Never will truth 
make its way forward without charity. It is quite different 
with impiety ; for, if we take from the works of Luther, 
Calvin, Zwinglius, and Beza, all calumnies, abusive lan 
guage, invectives, mockeries against the pope and the 
Church, there will be very little left to engage attention." 
When attacked by heretics with insolent language, he an 
swered them calmly and mildly, without the least appear 
ance of contention, in accordance with the doctrine of St. 
Paul: "If any man seem to be contentious, we have no 
such custom, nor hath the Church of God." (1 Cor. xi, 16.) 
He listened most kindly to the objections of heretics or 
infidels. When it was his turn to speak, instead of wast 
ing his time in disputing with them, he showed them the 
beauty of the Catholic faith in general j then depicted 
the impiety of those who had defamed it, and showed the 
deadly effect of Protestantism on the soul, on the heart, 
on the intellect, on the morals and manners, on politics and 
society itself. Each truth of the faith, in particular, he 
presented in its genuine simplicity, and extolled the grace 
and beauty peculiar to it in such a natural manner, that all 
hearts were irresistibly won for it. He was most careful 
never to allow a single word of controversy to fall from 
his lips. Then he passed on to such pious reflections and 
thoughts as the subject naturally suggested, and it was in 


this that his hopes principally rested : " For," said he, 
" my experience of thirty years 7 ministry has taught me 
that man is converted only when his heart is touched, his 
conscience awakened from its slumbers, convicted of sin, 
startled with a fearful looking forward to judgment to 
come, and made to cry out, Men, brethren, what shall 
we do to be saved ? 7 When we present moral truths 
with piety and zeal, they are like so many burning coals 
thrown into the faces of our hearers, who are edified by 
this manner of speaking, for they have a conscience, 
though it may have long slept, and in the interior of their 
souls a witness for the truth of what we tell them, though 
they may have long smothered his voice. When, assisted 
by the grace of God, we have awakened conscience from 
its slumbers, and made the voice of reason, which has 
been silenced, as it was amid pagan abominations, audible 
in the depths of the soul, and the man has become alarmed 
for his safety, he becomes more tractable, and is more 
easily induced to receive private instruction, in which we 
may easily brush away the cobweb theories, negations, 
sophistries and falsehoods of Protestantism, and instruct 
the neophyte in the glorious and life-giving truths of the 

As I have endeavored to follow St. Augustine s method, 
and St. Francis de Sales manner, of conveying instruc 
tion, it is hoped that this work may prove to all a treasure 
of knowledge, a source of comfort, a monitor of conscience, 
an arsenal of defence, an antidote to neutralize the poison 
of false doctrines and principles, a minister to do away 
with prejudice, remove ignorance, promote piety, and con 
firm belief. 


Should some answers be thought rather long for cate 
chetical instruction, it should be borne in mind that the 
work is intended not only for the ignorant who are to be 
catechised, but also for all persons who desire information 
and instruction ; and principally for priests, school-brothers 
and school-sisters, Sunday-school teachers, and for all those 
who have charge of the religious training of the young. 
It is left to the discretion of the teachers to select such 
portions of the answers as suit best the capacity of those 
whom they are to instruct. 

The " Intermediate No. Ill Catechism, for High Schools 
and Academies," published in 1877, forms the text of the 
work ; and the order of questions and answers there 
observed is preserved throughout. 

I have only to add that I submit this, and whatever else 
I have published, to the better judgment of our bishops, 
but especially to the Holy See, as I am most desirous to 
think nothing, to say nothing, to teach nothing, but what is 
approved of by those to whose charge the sacred deposit 
of faith has been committed, those who watch over us ? 
and are " to render an account to God for our souls." 



IF we wish to go to a certain city, the first thing we do 
is to ask the way that leads to it. If we do not know 
the way, we can never arrive at that city. So, too, if we 
wish to go to heaven, we must know the way that leads to 
it. Now, the way that leads to heaven is the knowing 
and doing of God s will. But it is God alone who can 
teach us his will ; that is, what he requires us to believe 
and to do, in order to be happy with him in heaven. And 
God himself came and taught us the truths which we must 
believe, the commandments which we must keep, and 
the means of grace which we must use to work out our 
salvation. To know God s will is to know the true religion. 
This knowledge is, indeed, the greatest of all treasures. 
Hence the Lord says to all men, through the great prophet 
Jeremias : " Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, 
nor the strong man in his strength, nor the rich man in 
the abundance of his wealth ; but let him that does glory, 
glory in his knowledge of me," that is, of my will. (Jer. 
ix, 23). It is for the same reason that Jesus Christ, the 
Son of God, exhdrts all men to " seek first the kingdom 
of God and his justice " (Matt, iv, 33), and calls those 
" blessed who hunger and thirst after justice," that is, after 
the knowledge of God s holy will. " Martha, Maltha," he 
said, " thou art solicitous about many things. Ma ry," who 


is sitting at my feet, to listen to my words, has "chosen 
the better part." 

As the Christian Doctrine, or the way to heaven, has 
been revealed by God himself, it is clear that all those 
who do not know the Christian Doctrine, who never attend 
to its explanation, but remain ignorant of their religious 
duties during life, cannot know the way to heaven, and, 
not knowing it, can never reach heaven. They are con 
tinually going astray, and taking the wrong road that leads 
to hell. There is no middle way. If we are not on the 
road to heaven, we are on the road to hell. We must 
walk either one way or the other. 

How necessary it is, then, to learn the Christian Doctrine ! 
What will become of us, or what sort of life shall we lead 
hereafter, if we are careless about being instructed in the 
religion upon which the happiness not only of the present, 
but also of the future life, depends. Not knowing God, 
not knowing how to love and serve him, man is like the 
beasts of the field, nay, inferior to those beasts ; for the 
life of a man without religion is a daily outrage against 
God, who created man to know him, love him, and serve him 
in this world. Instead of this, the man without religion 
becomes the servant of the devil ; when he dies, God will 

not receive him ; he will cast him off, and the miser- 

/ / 

able man will fall into the hands of the devil, whom he has 

served all his life, and who will repay that service by 
tormenting him forever in hell. 

A person who knows and speaks many languages, 
French, Latin, German, Italian, is admired for his learn 
ing. But to be fully instructed in our religion is a thou 
sand times more beautiful, and a thousand times more 
necessary and more useful. It is the knowledge of 


knowledge, the service of services. It is for this reason 
that our dear Saviour said : " Blessed are they that hear 
the word of God;" and aga in : li Blessed are the ears 
that hear what you hear," i. e., the Christian Doctrine. 

If pastors of souls are obliged, under pain of mortal 
sin, to preach the word of God, the faithful, too, are 
bound in conscience to go and listen to the word of God. 

Does a child not listen to the word of his father? 
Does a servant not listen to the word of his master? 
Does a senseless beast not hear the voice of its keeper ? 
And shall a Christian not listen to the word which God, 
his Creator, speaks to him in sermons and instructions ? 
The Gospel tells us that Jesus Christ went to the temple 
in Jerusalem, and there listened attentively to the expla 
nation which the Jewish priests gave of the law of God. 
It was our Lord himself who had given the law, and he 
knew its meaning. There was, then, no necessity at all 
for him to listen to the explanation of the law. Yet he 
went and listened attentively to it, in order to show us, by 
his example, the obligation under which we are of listen 
ing to the word of God. As, in corporal distempers, a 
total loss of appetite, which no medicines can restore, 
forebodes certain dec^y and death, so, in the spiritual life 
of the soul, a neglect of, or disrelish for, religious instruc 
tion is a most fatal symptom. Wha^ hopes can we enter 
tain of a person for whom the science of virtue and of 
eternal salvation seems to have no interest f 

u He who turneth away his ears from hearing the law, 5 
says the Holy Ghost, " his prayers shall be an abomina 
tion." (Prov. xxviii, 9.) St. Paul wrote to the Christians 
of Rome that " those who did not like to have the know 
ledge of God, were delivered up by God to a reprobate 


sense, to do those things that are unbecoming, to become 
filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wicked 
ness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, 
hateful to God, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, 
disobedient to parents, foolish, dissolute, without affection, 
without fidelity, without mercy." (Rom. i, 28-32.) " He, 
therefore, who is of God," says Jesus Christ, " heareth 
the word of God; but he who heareth it not, is not of 
God." (John viii, 47.) But u whosoever shall not receive 
you, nor hear your words," says our Lord to the apostles, 
" going forth out of that house or city, shake off the dust 
from your feet. Amen I say to you, it shall be more 
tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the 
day of judgment, than for that city." 

Daily experience, indeed, shows that there is no more 
effectual means for reclaiming sinners to penance, and 
rousing the just to greater fervor in the service of God, 
than an assiduous listening to the word of God. David, 
learned and enlightened as he was, repented of his crime 
of adultery only after Nathan the prophet had reproved 
hip for it in the name of God. Josaphat would not have 
given up his sinful alliance with an idolatrous people, had 
not Jehu, in the name of God, sharply reprimanded him 
for it. St. Augustine was very learned ; his conscience 
reproached him sharply for his bad life ; he felt very un 
happy, and yet for all that, he did not abandon his evil 
ways until he came to Milan, where he was converted by 
the sermons and instructions of St. Ambrose. Would that 
we could see the hearts of many before and after a sermon or 
an instruction ! What a sudden change for the better 
would be noted in many hearers who went to hear the word 
of God without thinking in the least of changing their 


manner of life, but who, after the sermon, left the church 
with deep sorrow for their sins, and a y true purpose of 
amendment ! 

The devil knows and fears this po wer of the word of 
God. Hence he makes all possible efforts to prevent both 
the just and sinners from going to listen to sermons and 
instructions. He suggests to them : You are sufficiently 
instructed; you know all your Christian duties j you have 
already heard so many sermons, you can hear nothing new ; 
you may read in books all that can be said in sermons, 
and thus save yourself the fatigue of going to church and 
staying there so long. If he cannot prevent them at all 
from going, he does all in his power to distract them during 
the sermon, or make them feel sleepy, or bored in listen 
ing to it, in order thus to prevent them from reaping any 
benefit from the word of God. 

We read in the life of St. Anthony of Padua that the 
devil often caused disturbance during the sermons of this 
great saint. One day a noble lady was listening with the 
greatest attention to his preaching. Suddenly a strange 
messenger stood before her, and gave her a letter which 
stated that her darling child was dead. Alarmed at this 
sad news, she rose immediately to leave the church. On 
beholding this, St. Anthony cried out to her : " Stay, for 
your child is not dead. That strange messenger is but a 
disguised devil." Something similar happened during a 
sermon of St. Vincent Ferrer. One day, whilst he was 
preaching in a public square, in presence of a large 
audience, there were seen three wild horses, running 
toward the people. Now, when St. Vincent saw that 
every one of his hearers was greatly frightened, and 
endeavored to save himself by flight, he cried in a 


loud voice : u Stay, be not afraid, those horses will no* 
hurt you; they are evil spirits, who have come to pre- 
vdnt you from listening to the word of God, and from 
being converted." He then made the sign of the cross 
over the horses, and the evil spirits suddenly disappeared, 

If only all men were so well persuaded of the -necessity 
of hearing the word of God, and of its wholesome effects, 
as the devil is, the Church would be crowded at every 
sermon and instruction. Whilst we listen to the word of 
God, Jesus Christ speaks at the same time to our hearts, 
since he is then present with us, according to his promise j 
" Where there are two or three gathered together in my 
name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matt, xyiii, 20.) 
Whence the same happens to us as befell the two disciples 
on the road to Emmaus : hearing the words of Christ, they 
felt their hearts burn within them. (Luke xxiv, 32.) 

St. Anthony the hermit, while listening to the words of 
the holy Gospel, felt himself so powerfully moved, that he 
forsook the world and all that it had, and withdrew into 
the wilderness, to live alone with God. The like is also 
related of St. Nicholas of Tolentino. On hearing a sermon 
on the vanity of earthly things, he conceived such a dis 
gust for them, that he turned his back upon the world, and 
hastened to hide himself in a cloister. 

Every Christian should, then, always bear in mind what 
our Lord says in the Gospel : " Not in bread alone doth 
man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the 
mouth of God." (Matt, iv, 4.) 

God is so pleased with those who eagerly listen to the 
explanation of the Christian Doctrine, that he often mani 
fests his pleasure by miracles. 

One day four thousand, and at another time five thou- 


sand people followed our Lord into the wilderness to hear 
him preach 5 and as they had nothing to eat, he multiplied 
a few fishes and loaves of bread in so wonderful a 
manner that all were filled. St. Gregory relates a remark 
able circumstance of a visit which St. Benedict paid to 
his sister, St. Scholastica. After they had taken supper, 
Scholastica requested her brother Benedict to delay his 
return to his monastery until the next day, in order that 
they might entertain themselves until morning on religious 
subjects, especially on the happiness of the other life. St. 
Benedict, unwilling to transgress his rule, told her that he 
could not pass a night out of his monastery. So he begged 
her not to insist any longer upon the violation of his rule. 
When Scholastica saw that her brother was resolved on 
going home, she laid her hands, joined, upon the table, 
and her head upon them, and with many tears begged of 
Almighty God to prevent her brother from returning home, 
in order that she might have the pleasure to listen to his 
spiritual discourse. No sooner had she ended her prayer, 
than a tremendous storm of rain, thunder, and lightning, 
began to rage. St. Benedict was forced to remain, in spite 
of himself. He complained to his sister, saying : u God 
forgive you, sister ! what have you done 1 " She answered : 
" I asked of you a favor, and you refused it ; I asked it of 
Almighty God, and he granted it. Go now if you can." 
So St. Benedict was obliged to stay with his sister 
Scholastica until next day. They spent the night in 
conversation upon spiritual subjects, chiefly on the hap 
piness of the blessed, after which both most ardently 
aspired, and which she went to enjoy four days after. 

One day Brother Albert, Provincial of the Franciscans, 
was to preach in the church of the convent in which St. 


Catharine of Bologna lived. Catharine had just put the 
bread in the oven when the bell rang for the sermon. 
Immediately making the sign of the cross, she said to the 
bread, " I recommend you to the Lord s care," and there 
upon she left the bakehouse, and went into the church. 
The preacher spoke for five hours : it was more than 
time enough for the bread to be burned and reduced to 
cinders j however, when she took it out of the oven, it 
was of a more beautiful brown than usual. (Life of the 
Saint, p. 327.) 

One day St. Anthony of Padua preached to an immense 
concourse of people. It was a beautiful summer s day. 
But scarcely had he begun his sermon, when the sky 
clouded over, and showed every symptom of a very severe 
storm. The saint went on quietly, notwithstanding the 
peals of thunder and the flashes of lightning that played 
among the clouds. The people were frightened, and 
prepared to seek a shelter from the drenching rain that 
threatened them. When St. Anthony noticed the une asi- 
ness and fright of his auditors, he recollected himself for 
a moment, and then cried out, in a loud and clear voice : 
lt Christians, fear nothing ; do not leave your places j 
remain where you are, and I promise you, in the name of 
God, that not one drop of rain shall fall upon you." At 
these words the people felt easy : no one moved from his 
place. Wonderful to relate, the rain fell in torrents, the 
hail devastated the surrounding fields, but the sky aboVe 
the auditory of St. Anthony remained clear and serene. 
(Life of St. Anthony of Padua.) 

If God, on the one hand, has, by miracles, shown the great 
pleasure which he takes in those who are eager to hear 
his word, he also, on the other, has, by frightful punish- 


ments, shown his great displeasure with those who do not 
care for the Christian Doctrine. 

St. Francis Regis once gave a great mission in the city of 
Naples. Several nights before the mission began, he went 
through the streets to every house. He knocked at 
each door, as he went along, and when it was opened, he 
said : " Please, for the love of God, to come to the sermons 
of the mission. 7 In a certain house there was living a 
very wicked woman : her name was Catharine. St. Francis 
knocked at the door of Catharine s house. When it was 
opened, he said : " Please, for the love of God, to come and 
listen to the word of God during the mission." Catharine 
answered and said : " No, I will not go to the mission." 
St. Francis left the house, and went on his way. The 
next evening St. Francis came again to Catharine s house, 
and knocked at the door. The door was opened. u How is 
Catharine ? " said St. Francis. u Catharine !" a voice an 
swered, " Catharine is dead!" "Then," said St. Francis, 
" let us go upstairs, and see the dead body." They all 
went up to a room where a dead body was laid on a bed. 
It was the dead body of the wicked Catharine, who only 
the night before had said, u I will not go to the mission." 
They stood round the dead body. St. Francis stood in 
front of it, and looked at the pale, lifeless face. Then 
he said, with a loud voice, u Catharine ! Catharine ! you 
that would not come to the sermon! tell me, in the name 
of God, I command you to tell me, where are you ? 
where is your soul ?" A moment passed, and the corpse 
opened its mouth. That dead tongue moved, and answered 
in a frightful voice, " / am in hell." 

Catharine had lived many years, and committed many 
dreadful mortal sins. Still our dear Lord did not send 


her to hell. Then St. Francis came to her from God. He 
asked her to listen to him, and be converted. She answered : 
" No, I will not listen." 

Another terrible example of divine justice occurred in 
174:5, when St. Alphonsus and his missionary priests were 
preaching at Foggia. One of the priests went- through 
the public places, to call the people to the church. Happen 
ing to pass before a tavern, he invited the drinkers to 
listen to the word of God, and take part in the other 
exercises of the mission. A tipsy fellow, holding up his 
glass, called out, " My father, would you like to see what 
is my mission ?" and putting the glass to his lips, he 
instantly dropped down dead. (Life of St. Alphonsus.) 

When we hear the Christian Doctrine explained, we 
should listen with the intention to profit by it. Our 
dinner, says Father Furniss, C. SS. R., does us very little 
good, unless we have an appetite for it. So hearing God s 
word in a sermon, instruction, or Catechism, or when we 
read a good book, will do us very little good, unless we 
have an appetite for it, and a desire to hear it. If we do 
not feel this desire, we should at least wish for it, and 
pray for it, and it will be given to us. It is one of the 
seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, called the gift of "under 

Moreover, we must not go to an instruction or sermon 
through mere curiosity, for example : to hear how some 
body preaches, nor only because we are obliged to go, 
and would be scolded if we were absent. We must go 
to hear the word of God, because it is able to save our 
souls. (James i, 21.) 

In almost every instruction we hear something recom 
mended which we feel in our hearts just suits us. This 


is a particular light which God sends from heaven into 
our hearts. We must then say to ourselves, Now I will 
begin this very day to do that very thing : " Be ye doers 
of the word of God, and not hearers only." (James i, 6.) 

When we have eaten our dinner, we keep the food in 
our stomach, to feed our body. So, when we have heard 
an instruction, we should keep some of it in our mind, to 
think about afterward, amd feed our souls with it. In the 
stable of Bethlehem there were the infant Jesus, Mary his 
mother, and Joseph, and the shepherds. When the shep 
herds were gone away, Mary, who was full of divine 
wisdom, kept the words of the poor ignorant shepherds in 
her heart, and thought of them, and meditated on them. 
(Luke ii.) 

Again, when we go to an instruction, we should listen 
to it with attention. The sin of Adam has made our 
minds very weak, and we cannot always keep our atten 
tion fixed. But we should not be wilfully distracted. 
Sometimes people will listen to any little trifle, instead of 
listening to an instruction. There was a great city called 
Athens. The soldiers were on their way to this city to 
destroy it. The people of the city were in great fear. 
They met together to think what should be done to save 
the town. Amongst them was one very wise man, called 
Demosthenes, who stood up and began to speak to them. 
The people would not listen to him. They talked and 
made a great noise, so that he could not be heard. De 
mosthenes, therefore, gave over speaking, and was silent 
for a few minutes. Then he cried out to the people that 
he had a story to tell them. When they heard that he 
was going to tell them a story, they became very quiet, 
silent, and attentive. He began his story : " There were 


two men," he said, " travelling together. One of them 
had hired an ass from the other. In the middle of the 
day they stopped. He who had hired the ass got off it. 
As the sun was very hot, he sat down in the shadow of 
the ass. No, said the other, t you shall not sit down in 
the shadow of my ass. You hired my ass, but ,you did 
not hire its shadow. r When Demosthenes had said this, 
he gave over speaking. The people called out to him to 
go on. Then he said to them : u My good people, when I 
speak to you about the shadow of an ass, you listen to me ; 
but when I speak to you about the safety of this town, 
you do not listen. 7 So, many people will let themselves 
be distracted by the shadow of a fly, or any little trifle, 
instead of listening to the word of God. Hear what the 
fishes did : 

You may have heard how God made an ass speak to 
Balaam, to tell him that he was doing wrong. (Num. xii.) 
He was angry with the ass, and beat its side with a stick, 
and the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and it said : 
" What have I done to thee ? Why dost thou strike me ? " 
Something like this happened in times of old : One day 
St. Anthony was preaching in a town called Rimini. The 
people would not listen to him. So he came down from 
the pulpit, went out of the church, and walked till he 
came to the sea. He stood on the sand of the sea -shore, 
and cried out to the fishes in these words : " Fishes of the 
sea and of the rivers ! listen to me. I wanted to preach to 
the people, but they would not listen to me. So I am 
going to preach to you." When he had said these words, 
an immense number of fishes of all sizes came round him, 
covering all the sea. The little fishes came first. Behind 
them were the middle-sized fishes, and then the great 


fishes. They were in good order, and very quiet, with 
their heads out of the water, turned toward the preacher. 
Then St. Anthony spoke to them in these words : " Fishes, 
iny little brethren ! you ought to thank your Creator for 
all the good things he has given you. First, there is the 
beautiful water in which you live, the sea water as well 
as the fresh water, whichever you like best. Then there 
are the holes and caves in the rocks, where you can go 
when a storm troubles the water. God has made you able 
to swim, and given you all that you eat, to preserve your 
lives. In the great Deluge, when it rained on the earth 
for forty days and forty nights, all the other animals were 
drowned, and you only were kept alive. When the 
prophet Jonas was thrown into the sea, God gave him to 
you, to keep him alive for three days. When the people 
came to Jesus, and asked him to pay the tribute, you 
helped him to pay it. You were the food of Jesus Christ, 
the Son of God, before and after his resurrection ! Now, 
when you remember all these great favors you have 
received from God, you ought to bless him and thank 
him, even more than other creatures." When the fishes 
heard these words, they opened their mouths, and bowed 
their heads, and showed how great was their desire to 
thank God. Then St. Anthony, full of joy, cried out : 
" Blessed be the great God, because the fishes praise him 
when men refuse to praise him." And now, when the 
people heard what a wonderful thing had happened to the 
fishes, they all went out to see it. They knelt down before 
St. Anthony, and asked him to pardon them, which he 
did. Then the saint turned round, gave his blessing to 
the fishes, and sent them all away. So Almighty God 
worked a miracle, to let us see how much he desires that 


we should listen to Ms holy word, which is full of power. 
(Eccles. viii.) 

Let us be at least as good as the fishes, and listen to the 
words of life which Almighty God speaks to us. What 
we hear in an instruction is not the word of a man, but 
the word of God. "You received my word/ 7 says St. 
Paul, u not as the word of man, but as it is indeed, the 
word of God." (I Thess., ii, 13.) We should always have 
a great love for the Christian Doctrine, and especially for 
the book which briefly contains the Christian Doctrine 
in question and answer, the Catechism. One day St. 
Teresa was asked by her sisters in religion what book they 
should often read and study. The great saint answered : 
" The Catechism ; for this is the book which contains and 
explains the law of God : n that is, it treats, 1, of all the 
truths we must believe ; 2, of the commandments we must 
keep 5 and, 3, of the means of grace we must use, that 
is, the sacraments and prayer, in order to be happy with 
God forever in heaven. 



KENELM DIGBY, author of the " .Ages of Faith," who 
did so much to awaken what was afterward the " Oxford 
Movement," was led to the Catholic faith by means of the 
barber who used to shave him when he was a member of 
the university. The barber began to instruct him in the 
broken conversations occurring from day to day. Then he 
lent Mr. Digby books, and the barber thus became the 
teacher of the university man. Let us rest assured that 
God has given to every good Catholic his vocation, his 
sphere of action, and holy influence, wherein he can pro 
claim to those around him that faith which maketh wise 
unto salvation. Let no one be a coward j let every one 
show as much determination and courage for the propa 
gation of the truth as its enemies evince for the spreading 
of error. 

Our women are doing what they can ; and if not always 
as well as we could wish, they deserve our gratitude for their 
good intentions, and their efforts in a right direction. But 
our educated laymen are doing comparatively nothing. 
They seem to be too much engrossed in the business world, 
in the world of politics, in making or in spending their for 
tunes, to have time or thought for the interests of their 
religion. If they had the proper spirit, and were animated 
by an, ardent zeal for religion, they might, working in 
submission tQ ; and under the direction of, the pastors of 


the Church, do incalculable good. It is a shame for them 
that they should allow their proper work to be done by 
women, or not be done at all. 

The motives which should induce us to be zealous in 
spreading the truth, especially in instructing in it the 
little ones, are : first, the great interest which Jesus Christ 
takes in children ; second, the more abundant fruits reaped 
from the care bestowed upon the young, and the great 
merit which is derived from giving religious instruction. 

Children are the most noble part of the flock of Christ. 
For them he has always shown a particular love and af 
fection. It was to children that he gave the special honor 
of being the first to shed their blood for his name s sake. 
He has held them up to us as a model of humility, which we 
should imitate : " Unless you become like little children, 
you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." He wishes 
that every one should hold them in great honor : " See 
that you despise not one of these little ones." Why not ? 
" For I say to you, that their angels always see the face 
of my Father who is in heaven." (Matt, xviii, 10.) 

He wishes every one to be on his guard, lest he should 
scandalize a little child : u He that shall scandalize one of 
these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him 
that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and 
that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea." 
(Matt, xviii, 6.) He says the love, attention, and respect 
paid to a child, is paid to himself: "And Jesus took a 
child, and said to them : Whosoever shall receive this 
child in my name, receiveth me." (Luke ix, 48.) 

He rebuked those who tried to prevent little children 
from being presented to him that he, might bless them : 
" And they brought to him young children, that he might 


touch them. And the disciples rebuked those who brought 
them; whom, when Jesus saw, he was much displeased, 
and saith to them : Suffer the little ones to come unto me, 
and forbid them not : for of such is the kingdom of God. 
Amen I say to you, whosoever shall not receive the king 
dom of God as a little child, shall not enter into it. And 
embracing them, and laying his hands upon them, he 
blessed them." (Matt, x, 13-16.) 

The Son of God came into the world to redeem all 
who were lost. But do children profit by his abundant 
redemption ? Do they draw from the source of graces 
that are open to all ? Will they be marked with the seal 
of divine adoption, and be nourished with his own flesh, 
in the sacrament of his love ? Will they be counted, in 
the course of their career, among the number of his faith 
ful disciples, or among the enemies of his law? Will 
they one day be admitted into his kingdom ? Will they 
be excluded? Is heaven or hell to be their lot for all 
eternity ? The fate of children is in the hands of their 
natural guardians, and of those set over them. If the 
zeal of those to whom their training and education are 
confided be not active for their salvation, Jesus will lose in 
them the fruit of his sufferings and death. How many are 
deprived forever of the knowledge, sight, and possession 
of God, because they have not received right religious 
instruction ! And who is answerable to God and human 
ity for the loss of those souls, unless those whose plain 
duty it was to impart such instruction ? 

If the first years of life are pure, they often sanctify 
all the after-life 5 but if the roots of the tree are rotten 
and dead, the branches will not be more healthy. Man 
will become, in his old age, what religious education 


made him in his youth : " A young man, according to his 
way, even when he is old, he will not depart from it. 77 
(Prov. xxii, 6.) All is a snare and seduction for youth. 
If the fear of God, the horror of evil, the maxims of 
religion, are not profoundly engraven in the soul, what is 
to protect young people from their passions ? What can 
be expected of a young man who has but seldom heard 
of the happiness of virtue, the hopes of the future life, 
and the blessings or the woes of eternity ? Can we, know 
ing, as we do, how much Jesus Christ loves children, 
resign ourselves to leaving them in their misery ? " The 
kings of the earth have their favorites ; " said St. Augustine. 
The favorites of Jesus Christ are innocent souls. What 
is more innocent than the heart of a child whom baptism 
has purified from original stain, and who has not, as yet, 
contracted the stain of actual sin ? This heart is the 
sanctuary of the Holy Ghost. Who can tell with what 
delight he makes of it his abode ? " My delicts are 
to be with the children of men." Look at the mothers 
who penetrated the crowd that surrounded the Saviour, 
in order to beg him to bless their children. They are at 
first repulsed 5 but soon after, what is their joy when they 
hear the good Master approve their desires, and justify 
what a zeal, little enlightened, taxed with indiscre tion ! 
Ah ! let us understand the desires of the Son of God. 
" Suffer," says he to us, " suffer little children to come 
to me." What ! You banish those who are dearest to 
me ? They who resemble them belong to the kingdom of 
heaven. If you love me, take care of my sheep, but 
neglect not my lambs. "Feed my lambs." " Despise 
not one of my, little ones." " See that ye condemn not 
one of these little ones." (Matt. xviii ; 10.) I regard, as 


done to myself, all that is done to them. O Saviour of 
the world ! the desire to be beloved by thee, and to 
prove my love for thee, urges me to devote myself to 
the thorough instruction of children. 

How great and consoling are not the fruits of zeal, 
when it has youth for its object ! What difficulties do we 
not encounter, when we undertake to bring back to God 
persons advanced in age ! Children, on the contrary, 
oppose but one obstacle to our zeal, levity. All we need 
with them is patience. Their souls are like new earth, 
which waits only culture to produce four-fold. They are 
flexible plants, which take the form and direction given 
to them. Their hearts, pure as they are from criminal 
affections, are susceptible of happy impressions and ten 
dencies. They believe in authority. A religious instinct 
leads them to the priest and the good teacher. They 
adopt with confidence the faith and the sentiments of 
those who instruct them. Oh, how easy to soften that 
age, in speaking of a God who has made himself a child, 
and who died for us to awaken the fear of the Lord, 
compassion for those who suffer, gratitude, divine love, 
in souls predisposed, by the grace of baptism, to all the 
Christian virtues ! Ask the most zealous pastors, and all 
will tell you that no part of their ministry is more consol 
ing than that which is exercised for youth, because the 
fruits are incomparably more abundant. Although all our 
efforts for the sanctification of an old man, ever unfaithful 
to his duties, should be crowned with success, they could 
not help his long life being frightfully void of merits, and 
a permanent revolt against heaven. But, if there be a 
child in question, our zeal sanctifies his whole life j we 
deposit in his soul the germ of all the good that he will 


do, and we shall participate in all the good works with 
which his career will be filled. All believers have come 
out of one single Abraham. From one child well brought 
up a whole generation of true Christians may proceed. 
In the little flock that surrounds any one of us, God sees, 
perhaps, elect souls, regarding whom his Providence has 
formed great designs, pious instructors, holy priests, who 
will carry far the knowledge^ of his name, and aid him 
in saving millions of souls. Into what astonishment would 
the first catechists of a St. Vincent de Paul, of a Francis 
Xavier, be thrown, had they been told what would become 
of those children, and what they would one day accom 
plish ! But even supposing that all those confided to 
us follow the common way, we have in them the surest 
means of renewing parishes. To-day they receive the 
movement, in fifteen years they will give it. They will 
transmit good principles, happy inclinations to their own 
children, who will transmit them in their turn. It is thus 
that holy traditions are established, and a chain of solid 
virtues perpetuated : ages will reap what we have sown 
in a few years. It is by these considerations that the 
greatest saints and the finest geniuses of Christianity 
became so much attached to the religious instruction of 
youth. St. Jerome, St. Gregory, St. Augustine, St. Vin 
cent Ferrer, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Francis de Sales, 
St. Joseph Calasanctius, Gerson, Bellarmin, Bossuet, 
Fenelon, M. Olier, etc., believed they could never better 
employ their time and talents than in consecrating them 
to the religious instruction of the young. "It is con 
sidered honorable and useful to educate the son of a 
monarch, presumptive heir to his crown. . . . But the 
child that I form to virtue, is he not the child of God, 


inheritor of the kingdom of heaven ? " (Gerson.) Have 
we / always comprehended all the good that we can do to 
children by our humble functions ? 

There is, indeed, nothing more honorable, nothing more 
meritorious, nothing which conducts to higher perfection, 
than to instruct men, especially children, in their religious 
duties. This instruction is a royal, apostolic, angelic, and 
divine function. Royal, because the office of a king is to 
protect his people from danger. Apostolic, because the 
Lord commissioned apostles to instruct the nations, and, 
as St. Jerome says, thus made them the saviours of men. 
Angelic, because the angelical spirits in heaven enlighten, 
purify, and perfect each other according to their spheres, 
and their earthly mission is to labor without ceasing for 
the salvation of man. St. Peter Chrysologus calls those 
who instruct others in the way of salvation, " the substi 
tutes of angels." Indeed their mission is divine ; they 
carry on the very work of God himself. Everything 
that Almighty God has done from the creation of the 
world, and which he will continue to do to the end, has 
been, and will be, for the salvation of mankind. For this 
he sent his Son from heaven, who enlightened the world 
by his doctrine, and who still continues to instruct his 
people by his chosen disciples. Those, then, who direct 
children in the paths to heaven, who allure them from 
vice, who form them to virtue, may fitly be termed 
apostles, angels, and saviours. Oh ! what glory awaits 
those who perform the office of angels, and even of God 
himself, in laboring for the salvation of the souls of chil 
dren ! If this employment is honorable, it is also not less 
meritorious. What is the religious instruction of children, 
but conferring on a class of our race, the weakest and most 


helpless, with inconceivable labor and fatigue, the great 
est of all blessings f For, while the physical development 
of the child advances with age, it is not so with the 
mental : religious instruction alone can develop the noble 
faculties of the soul. The soul of a child would, so to 
speak, continue to live enshrouded in pagan darkness, if 
the teacher did not impart and infuse the light of truth. 
All the gold in the world is but dross in comparison with 
true religious knowledge. 

Our Saviour says : " Whosoever shall give to drink to 
one of these little Ones, even a cup of cold water, shall 
not lose his reward." (Matt, x, 42.) May we not infeV 
that those who bestow upon children the treasures of 
divine knowledge will receive an exceedingly great 
reward ? If God denounces so severely those who 

scandalize little children, " But he that shall scandalize 

/ / 

one of these little ones, it were better for him that a 

millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were 
drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matt, xviii, 6), what 
recompense will those receive who instruct and sanctify 
them I 

Those who give their efforts and means to this object, 
choose the surest way to appease the anger of God, and to 
insure their own salvation. They choose the best means 
of attaining a high degree of perfection. Almighty God 
gives to each one the graces proper to his vocation. Those, 
therefore, who are devoted to the religious instruction of 
children, must rest assured that God will give them extra 
ordinary graces to arrive at perfection. " Whoever," says 
our Lord, " shall receive one such little child in my name, 
receiveth me." (Matt, xviii, 5.) Whosoever, then, believes 
that our Saviour will not allow himself to be surpassed in 


..liberality, must also believe that he will bestow his choicest 
blessings on those who instruct children in the knowledge 
of God and the love of virtue. 

What obligations have not the " angels ?? of children, 
" who always see the face of the Father who is in heaven " 
(Matt, xviii, 10), to pray for these teachers, their dear 
colleagues and charitable substitutes, who perform their 
office, and hold their place on earth ! " Believe me," said 
St. Francis de Sales, "the angels of little children love 
with a special love all those who bring them up in the fear 
of God, and who plant in their tender souls holy devotion." 
The children will pray for their teachers, and God can 
refuse nothing to the prayers of children, and their suppli 
cations will ascend with the prayers of the angels. 

To .be destitute of ardent zeal for the spiritual welfare 
of children, is to see, with indifferent eyes, the blood of 
Jesus ; Christ trodden under foot ; it is to see the image 
and likeness of God lie in the mire, and not care for it ; 
it is to despise the Blessed Trinity : the Father, who cre 
ated them ; the Son, who redeemed them j the Holy Ghost, 
who sanctified them j it is to belong to that class of shep 
herds, of whom the Lord commanded Ezechiel to prophesy 
as follows : " Son of man, prophesy concerning the shep 
herds of Israel : prophesy and say to the shepherds : Thus 
saith the Lord God : Wo to the shepherds of Israel. . . . 
My flock you did not feed. The weak you have not 
strengthened j and that which was sick, you have not 
healed ; that which was, broken, you have not bound up ; 
and that which was driven away, you have not brought 
again ; neither have you sought that which was lost. . . . 
And my sheep were scattered, because there was no shep 
herd : and they became the prey of all the beasts of the 


field, and were scattered. My sheep have wandered in 
every mountain, and in every high hill : and there was 
none, I say, that sought them. Therefore, ye shepherds, 
hear the word of the Lord : Behold, I myself come up6n 
the shepherds. I will require my flock at their hands." 
(Ezech. xxxiv, 2-10.) To be destitute of this .zeal for 
the religious instruction of our children, is to hide the five 
talents which the Lord has given us, instead of gaining 
other five talents. Surely the Lord will say : " And the 
unprofitable servant, cast ye out into the exterior darkness. 
There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 
xxv, 30.) 

What a shame for us to know that the devil, in alliance 
with the wicked, is at work, day and night, for the ruin 
and destruction of youth, and to be so little concerned 
about their eternal loss ; just as if what the holy fathers 
say was not true, that the salvation of one soul is worth 
more than the whole visible world ! When has the price of 
the souls of little children been lessened ? Ah ! as long as 
the price of the blood of Jesus Christ remains of an infinite 
value, so long the price of souls will remain of a like value ! 
Heaven and earth will pass away, but this truth will not. 
The devil knows and understands it but too well. He 
delights in us if we are hirelings, because we have no 
care for the sheep, and see the wolf coming, and leave the 
sheep and fly. (John x, 12.) 

On the day of judgment, those who have neglected 
this great duty will be confounded by that poor man of 
whom we read, in the life of St. Francis de Sales, as fol 
lows : " One day, this holy and zealous pastor, on a visit of 
his diocese, had reached the top of one of those dreadful 
mountains, overwhelmed with fatigue and cold, his hands 


and feet completely benumbed, in order to visit a single 
parish in that dreary situation. While he was viewing, 
with astonishment, those immense blocks of ice, of an un 
common thickness, the inhabitants, who had approached to 
meet him, related that some days before a shepherd, run 
ning after a strayed sheep, had fallen into one of these 
tremendous precipices. They added that his fate would 
never have been known if his companion, who was in 
search of him, had not discovered his hat on the edge of 
the precipice. The poor man, therefore, imagined that 
the shepherd might be still relieved, or, if he should have 
perished, that he might be honored with a Christian 

" With this view he descended, by the means of ropes, 
this icy precipice, whence he was drawn up, pierced 
through with cold, and holding in his arms his companion, 
who was dead, and almost frozen into a block of ice. 
Francis, hearing this account, turned to his attendants, 
who were disheartened with the extreme fatigues which 
they had every day to encounter, and availing himself of 
this circumstance to encourage them, he said : l Some 
persons imagine that we do too much, and we certainly 
do far less than these poor people. You have heard in 
what manner one has lost his life in an attempt to find a 
strayed animal ; ^and how another has exposed himself to 
the danger of perishing, in order to procure for his friend 
a burial, which, under these circumstances, might have 
been dispensed with. These examples speak to us in 
forcible language ; by this charity we are confounded, we 
who perform much less for the salvation of souls intrusted 
to our care, than those poor people do for the security of 
animals confided to their charge. Then the holy prelate 


heaved a deep sigh, saying : My God, what a beautiful 
lesson for bishops and pastors ! This poor shepherd has 
sacrificed his .life to save a strayed sheep, and I, alas! 
have so little zeal for. the salvation of souls. The least 
obstacle suffices to deter me, and makes me calculate every 
step and.Jrouble. Great God, give me true zeal, and the 
genuine spirit of a good shepherd ! Ah, how many shep 
herds of souls will not this herdsman judge! " Alas! 
how just and how true is this remark ! If we saw our 
very enemies surrounded by fire, we would think of means 
to rescue them from the danger ; and now we see thou 
sands of little children, redeemed at the price of the 
blood of Jesus Christ, on the point of losing their faith, 
and with it their souls ; and shall we be less concerned 
and less active for these images and likenesses of God, 
than for their frames, their bodies 1 

We hear a little child /weeping, and we at once try to 
console it ; we hear a little dog whining at the door, and 
we open it ; a poor beggar asks for a piece of bread, 
and we give it ; and we hear the mother of our Catholic 
children, the Catholic Church, cry in lamentable accents, 
" Let my little ones have the bread of life, a thorough 
religious instruction," and shall we not heed her voice ? 
We hear Jesus Christ cry, u Suffer the little ones to come 
unto me," by means of solid instruction ; we see him weep 
over Jerusalem, over the loss of so many Catholic chil 
dren, ami we hear him say, "Weep not over me, but for 
your children ; " and shall neither his voice nor his tears 
make any impression ? Shall we say with the man in the 
Gospel : " Trouble me not, the door (of our heart) is now 
shut : I cannot rise and give thee " ? (Luke xi.) If an 
ass, says our Lord, fall into a pit, you will pull him out, 


even on the Sabbath-day; and an innocent soul, nay, 
thousands of innocent children, fall away from me, and 
pass over to the army of the apostate angels, and become 
my and your adversaries- and wiH you not care ? What 
cruelty, what hardness of heart, what great impiety ! 
Truly the curses and maledictions of all those who led a 
bad life, and were damned for want of Christian "instruc 
tion, which we neglected to give them, will, fall upon us ! 
What shall we answer ? " And he was silent. 77 * (Matt, 

* Pope Paul V, in order more diligently to encourage the faithful to 
teach and to learn Christian Doctrine, granted the following indul 
gences : 

J.. The Indulgence of one hundred days to all teachers, fathers and 
mothers, every time they instruct the children and domestics in the 
Christian Doctrine. 

2. The Indulgence of one hundred days to all the faithful, every time 
they / employ themselves for half an hour in teaching or learning the 
Christian Doctrine. 

To these Indulgences was added by Clement XTI: 

3. The Plenary Indulgence, after confession and copamunion, on the 
Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, on Easter Sunday, and 
on the. Feast of the holy Apostles, SS. Peter and Paul, to those who have 
the pious custom of assisting at, or teaching, the Christian Doctrine. 






MANY years ago a strange sight, a singular contrast, 
might have been witnessed in the great city of Babylon. 
Throughout the streets and public places of that populous 
city the inhabitants were feasting, singing, and rejoicing. 
Wherever the eye turned, it beheld signs of triumph and 
gladness. But in the midst of this rejoicing there is one 
spot where sadness reigns. Upon the banks of Babylon s 
streams a vast multitude is assembled. There are strong 
men borne down by sorrow j there are feeble women 
pining away with grief; there are old men whose hoary 
heads are bowed down with sadness ; little children lan 
guishing in pain. The faces of all are pallid, their eyes 
filled with tears. They rest their wearied limbs beneath 
the shade of the mournful cypress. Their harps, their 
musical instruments, hang sadly upon the branches of the 
willow. No hand is raised to touch them, no finger evokes 
sweet music from their chords. They are silent ; they 
are neglected. There naught is heard save the sighs, the 
moans, the sobs of the multitude, as they blend confusedly 


with the murmur, the dash of the stream. Naught is seen 
save the tears that trickle down from their eyelids, and 
blend with the flood. Let us draw near those poor unhappy 
creatures, and ask them the cause of their tears. They 
weep, they are heart-broken, because they are exiles ; 
because they are far, far away from their home, their 

native land. This alone is the cause of their tears. 

, / 

How mournful are the days of exile ! How sweet it is 
to breathe once more the air of our native land ! The 
bread of the stranger, like the bread of the wicked, is 
bitter to the heart. The streams of a foreign land may 
murmur in soothing tones, but they speak an unknown 
tongue. The birds in foreign lands may sing sweetly, but 
they want one melodious note : they do not sing to us of 
home. The scenes in other lands may be wildly fair, but 
they have not that sweet, that soothing charm, which 
endears every object in our native land. We are poor 
exiles here below, far away from heaven, our true home ; 
we, therefore, constantly suffer the pain of exile. We are 
never satisfied in this world. We always crave for some 
thing more, something higher, something better. Whence 
is this continual restlessness which haunts us through life, 
and even pursues us to the grave ? It is the home-sick 
ness of the soul. It is the soul s craving after a Good that 
is better and more excellent than the soul herself is. 

King Solomon, in search after happiness, devoted his 
mind to the gratification of every desire of his heart : "I 
said in my heart, I will go, and abound with delights and en 
joy good things. I made me great works, I built me houseSj 
and planted vineyards. I made gardens and orchards, 
and set them with trees of all kinds, and I made me 
ponds of water, to water therewith the wood of the young 


trees. I got me men-servants and maid-servants, and had 
a great family : and herds of oxen, and great flocks of sheep, 
above all that were before me in Jerusalem : I heaped 
together for myself silver and gold, and the wealth of 
kings and provinces : I made me singing-men and singing- 
women, and the delights of the sons of men : cups and _ 
vessels to serve to pour out wine : and I surpassed in 
riches all that were before me in Jerusalem : my wisdom 
also remained with me. And whatsoever my eyes desired, 
I refused them not : and I withheld not my heart from 
enjoying every pleasure : and esteemed this my portion, to 
make use of my own labor." 

After such ample enjoyment of all earthly pleasures, 
might we not think that Solomon was happy indeed ? 
Nevertheless, he tells us that his heart was not satisfied, 
and that he found himself more miserable than before. 
" And when I turned myself," he says, " to all the works 
which my hands had wrought, and to the labors wherein 
I had labored in vain, I saw in all things vanity and vex 
ation of mind, and that nothing was lasting under the 
sun." (Eccles. ii, 11.) 

What happened to Solomon happens still, in one shape 
or form, to every man. Give to the man, whose dream, 
whose waking thought, day and night, is to grow rich, 
to live in splendor and luxury ; whose life is spent in plan 
ning, and thinking^ and toiling, give all the kingdoms of 
the earth, all the gold of the mountains, all the pearls of 
the ocean. Give him the desire of his heart. Will he be 
happy 1 Will his heart be at rest ? He will find that 
riches are like thorns that they only wound and burn. 
They seem sweet, when beheld at a distance ; but indulge 
in them, and at once you taste their bitterness. All the 


goods and pleasures of this world are like a fisher s hook. 
The fish is glad while it swallows the bait, and spies not 
the hook ; ^ut no sooner has the fisherman drawn up his 
line, than it is tormented within, and soon after comes to 
destruction from the very bait in which it so much 
rejoiced. So it is with all those who esteem themselves 
happy in their temporal possessions. In their comforts 
and honors they have swallowed a hook. But a time will 
come when they shall experience the greatness of the 
torment from which they expected unalloyed delight. 

Now, why is it that the riches and pleasures of this 
world cannot make us happy ? It is because the soul was 
not created by and for them, but by God for himself. It 
is God who made our heart, and he made it for himself. 
When man first came forth from the hand of God, his heart 
turned to God naturally, and he loved creatures only as 
loving keepsakes of God. But sin and death came into 
the world. The heart of man was defiled and degraded. 
He turned away from the pure and holy love of God, and 
sought for love and happiness amid creatures. But our 
heart seeks in vain among creatures. Our heart is small 
indeed, but its love is infinite. It can find rest only in 
God. Whatever we love out of God brings only pain and 
bitter disappointment. 

A thing is made better only by that which is better 
than the thing itself. Inferior beings can never make 
superior beings better. The soul, being immortal, is 
superior to all earthly things. Earthly things, then, c^n- 
notmake the soul better. God alone is the souPs supreme 
goodness and happiness. He who possesses God is at 
rest. The more closely we are united with God in this- 
life, the more contentment of mind, and the greater 


happiness of soul, shall we enjoy. For this reason, St. 
Francis of Assisium used to exclaim : 

"What to me are earthly treasures, 
Flashing gems and gleaming gold ? 
Gems and gold heal not the heartache, 
Gleam in vain where love grows cold. 
Thou, dear Lord, art my heart s treasure, 
Thy pure love is all I prize ; 
Thou hast boundless wealth unfailing 
In the home beyond the skies." 

St. Teresa, too, would often exclaim : 

"Earthly joys soon end in sorrow, 
Pleasure brings but grief and pain ; 
Beauty s bloom is frail and fleeting, 
Darkness and the grave remain ! 
Thy sweet smile, dear Lord, brings gladness, 
Thy love s sweetness ne er can cloy ; 
Thy immortal, dazzling beauty 
Fills all heaven with endless joy." 

Certainly, true contentment is that which is found in 
the Creator, and not that which is found in the creature, 
a contentment which no man can take from the soul, and 
in comparison with which all other joy is sadness, all 
pleasure sorrow, all sweetness bitter, all beauty ugliness, 
all delight affliction. Hence it is that St. Augustine, who 
had tasted all pleasure, exclaimed : 

" Earthly fame dies with its echo, 
Earthly love but half reveals 
Life s dread meaning, man s deep blindness, 
And the fate that death conceals. 
Thou, dear Lord, art all my glory 
Praised by thee, I shall be blest : 
In thy wisdom s cloudless splendors 
Shall my yearning soul find rest." 

Ah ! we are poor exiles here below. God created us, and 
he created us for himself; and until we can enjoy God, and 


see ^him face to face, we can never find true rest. There 

H always a void in our heart, a void which cannot be 

filled by father or mother, by brother or sister, or our 

dearest friend: it can be filled by God alone. Hence 

the first and most important question in the Catechism is .* 

1, What is most necessary for us to know and to believe 1 

And the answer is : It is most necessary for us to know 

and to believe that there is a God, who rewards the good 

and punishes the wicked. 

Our future and true home is heaven. To go to heaven, 
we must know the way that leads to it. Now, the begin- 
ing of the way to heaven is the knowledge of God. u For 
he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and is a 
rewarder of those that seek him." (Heb. xi, 6.) " And 
this is life everlasting," says our Saviour, " that they 
may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, 
whom thou hast sent." (John xvii, 3.) " Without this 
faith it is impossible to please God." (Heb. xi, 6.) But 
as without this faith man cannot please God and be saved, 
his Creator has made faith easy for him. 

Man is born a believing creature, and cannot, if he 
would, destroy altogether this noble attribute of his nature. 
If he is not taught, and will not accept, a belief in the 
living and uncreated God, he will create and worship 
some other god in his stead. He cannot rest on mere 
negation. There never has been a real, absolute un 
believer. All the Gentile nations of the past have been 
religious people ; all the pagan powers of the present are 
also believers. There never has been a nation without 
faith, without an altar, without a sacrifice. When 
Columbus discovered America, he found that the Indians 
had their creed, though of a vague and simple nature. 


They believed in one supreme being, inhabiting the sky, 
who was immortal, almighty, and invisible. Every family 
had a house set apart, as a temple to this deity. The 
natives had an idea of a place of reward, to which the 
spirits of good men repaired after death, where they were 
reunited to the spirits of those whom they had most loved 
during life, and to all their ancestors. Here they enjoyed, 
uninterruptedly and in perfection, those pleasures which 
constituted their felicity on earth. (Irving s " Columbus," 
vol. i.) " It is only the fool) the impious man, that says 
in his heart, There is no God." (Ps. xiii, 1.) He says so " in 
his heart," says Holy Writ j he says not so in his head, 
because he knows better. There are moments when, in 
spite of himself, he returns to better sentiments. Let him 
be in imminent danger of death, or of a considerable loss 
of fortune, and how quickly, on such occasions, he lays 
aside the mask of infidelity ! He straightway makes his 
profession of faith in an Almighty God ; he cries out : 
"Lord! save me; I am perishing ; Lord! have mercy 
on me !" The famous Volney was once on a voyage with 
some of his friends off the coast of Maryland. All at 
once a great storm arose, and the little bark, which bore 
the flower of the unbelievers of both hemispheres, ap 
peared twenty times on the point of being lost. In this 
imminent danger every one began to pray. M. de Volney 
himself snatched a rosary from a good woman near him, 
and began to recite Hail Marys with edifying fervor, nor 
ceased till the danger was over. When the storm had 
passed, some one said to him, in a tone of good-natured 
raillery: u My dear sir, it seems to me that you were 
praying just now. To whom did you address yourself, 
since you maintain that there is no God?" "Ah! my 


friend," replied the philosopher, all ashamed, u one can be 
a sceptic in his study, but not at sea in a storm." (NocJ, 
" Catech. de Rodez," i, 73.) 

A certain innkeeper had learned, in bad company, all sorts 
of impiety. In his wickedness he even went so far as to 
say that he did not believe in God. One night he was 
roused by the cry of " Fire ! fire !" His house was on 
fire. No sooner had he perceived the dreadful havoc 
going on than he cried, with clasped hands : " My God ! 
O my God ! God Almighty ! God of grace and mercy ! 
have pity on me and help me !" Here he was suddenly 
stopped by one of his neighbors : " How ! wretch, you 
have been denying and blaspheming God all the evening, 
and you would have him come now to your assistance !" 
(Schmid and Belet, " Cat. Hist.," i, 43.) 

From these examples it is clear that the mouth of the 
infidel belies his own heart. That there is one God, who 
made all things, and who rewards the good and punishes 
the wicked, is the first and most necessary truth for us to 
know and to believe, a truth to which no reflecting man 
can shut his mind : it is so deeply impressed on the mind of 
man, that to banish it altogether is impossible. Hence the 
Vatican Council says : " Therefore, if any one shall deny 
one true God, Creator and Lord of things visible and 
invisible, or who shall not be ashamed to affirm that, ex 
cept matter, nothing exists, or shall say that the substance 
and essence of God and of all things is one and the same, 
let him be accursed." (Vatic. Coun. I, Canons 1, 2, 3.) 

2. Who is good before God ? 

Those only are good before God icho do liis holy will. 

This God gave us to understand, in express terms, when 
he said to Adam : " And of the tree of knowledge of 


good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For, in what day soever 
thou slialt eat of it, thou shalt die the death." (Gen. ii, 17.) 

By this commandment man was clearly given to under 
stand that the continuation of his happiness, for time and 
eternity, depended upon his obedience to the will of God. 
To be free from irregular affections and disorderly passions, 
and to transmit his happiness to his posterity, was entirely 
ic his power. If he made a right use of his liberty, by 
always following the law of God j if he preserved un 
sullied the image and likeness of his Creator and heavenly 
Father; if, in fine, he made a proper use of the creatures 
confided to his care, he would receive the crown of life 
everlasting, as a reward for his fidelity. But if he swerved, 
even for a moment, from this loving will of God, he would 
subject himself to the law of God s justice, which would 
not fail to execute the threatened punishment. 

But did God, perhaps, afterward, in consideration of 
the Redemption, lay down other and easier conditions 
for man s happiness and salvation ? No. He did not 
change these conditions in the least. Man s happiness 
still depended on his obedience to the divine will. " Now 
if thou wilt hear the voice of the Lord thy God, to do 
and keep all his commandments, the Lord thy God will make 
thee higher than all the nations of the earth, and all these 
blessings shall come unto thee, and overtake thee : yet so 
if thou hear his precepts." (Deut. xxviii, 1, 2.) And our 
divine Saviour says : "You are my friends, if you do the 
things that I command you." (John xv, 15.) He himself 
gave the example, having been obedient even unto the 
death of the cross j thereby teaching all men that their 
happiness and salvation depend on their constant obedience 
to the will of their heavenly Father, All men, without 


exception, were made by God to be happy with him for 
eVer in heaven, on this one condition : " He that doth 
the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter 
the kingdom of heaven. 7 (Matt, vii, 21.) 

3. What will be the reward of the good? 

The reward of the good will be to enjoy God forever in 

God says: "lam thy reward exceeding great." (Gen. 
xv ? 1.) Even in this life, the reward of those who do the 
will of God is very great. It was for his obedience to 
the will of God that Abel obtained from the Lord the 
testimony that he was just ; that Henoch was translated 
by God, in order that he should not see death. On account 
of his obedience to the will of God, Noe and his family 
were saved from the deluge j Abraham became the father 
of many nations ; Joseph was raised to the highest dignity 
at the court of the King of Egypt. For the same reason 
Moses became the great servant, prophet, and lawgiver of 
the land, and the great worker of miracles with the people 
of God. Obedience to the will of God was, for the Jews, 
at all times, an impregnable rampart against all their e ne- 
mies 5 it turned a Saul, a persecutor of the Church, into a 
Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles f it turned the early 
Christians into martyrs for martyrdom does not consist 
in suffering and dying for the faith j it consists, rather, in 
the conformity of the martyr s will to the divine will, 
which requires such a kind of death, and not another. 
Nay, Jesus Christ has declared that it is by obedience to the 
will of his heavenly Father that every one becomes his 
brother, his sister, and even his mother ; " Whosoever," 
he says, " shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, 
he is my brother, and , sister, and mother." (Matt, xii, 50.) 


But in the world to come, in heaven, God is the reward 
of the obedient, in a manner altogether incomprehensible. 
He is an infinite ocean of happiness. In this ocean of 
happiness the saints live for ever and ever. They are 
penetrated with God s own happiness more than iron can 
be penetrated with fire ; and therefore, "Eye hath not seen, 
nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, 
what things God hath prepared for them that love him. 7 
(1 Cor. ii, 9.) 

4. What will be the punishment of the wicked ? 

The wicked will suffer the eternal torments of hell. 

Man, when leading a life contrary to God s will, is alto 
gether out of his place. A tool that no longer corresponds 
to the end for which it was made, is cast away ; a wheel 
that prevents others from working, is taken out and 
replaced by another ; a limb in the body which becomes 
burdensome, and endangers the functions and life of the 
others, is cut off and thrown away ; a servant who no longer 
does his master s will, is discharged ; a rebellious citizen, 
violating the laws of the state, is put into prison j a child 
in unreasonable opposition to his parents is disinherited. 
Thus men naturally hate and reject what is unreasonable 
or useless, or opposed to, and destructive of, good order, 
whether natural or moral. What more natural, then, than 
that the Lord of heaven and earth, the author of good 
sense and of good order, should bear an implacable hatred 
to disobedience to his holy will? 

The man in opposition to the will of God suffers as many 
pangs as a limb which has been dislocated j he is continually 
tormented by evil spirits, who have power over a soul that 
is out of its proper sphere of action ; he is no longer under 
the protection of God, since he has withdrawn from his 


will the rule for man s guidance, and has voluntarily left 
his watchful providence. God sent Jonas the prophet to 
Ninive, and he wished to go to Tarsus. He was buffeted 
by the tempest, cast into the sea, and swallowed by a mon 
ster of the deep ! Behold what shall come upon those who 
abandon God s will, to follow their own passions and in 
clinations ! They shall be tossed, like Jonas, by continual 
tempests ; they will remain like one in a lethargy, in the 
hold of their vessels, unconscious of sickness or danger, 
until they perish in the stormy sea, and are swallowed up 
in hell: "Know thou and see that it is a bitter and 
fearful thing for thee to have left the Lord thy God, when 
he desired to lead thee in the way of salvation, and that 
my fear is not with thee, saith the Lord God of hosts." 

God grants to the devil great power over the -disobe di- 
ent. As the Lord permitted a lion to kill a prophet in 
Juda, in punishment for his disobedience to the voice of the 
Lord, so he permits the infernal lion to assai} the proud 
and the disobedient everywhere with the vilest tempta 
tions, which they feel themselves too weak to resist, and 
thus fall a prey to his rage. Unless they repent soon, like 
Jonas, of their sin of idolatry, as it were, they will not be 
saved, as was the prophet, but will perish in the waves of 
temptations, and sink into the fathomless abyss of hell. 
And even in this world sin becomes its own punishment. 
It destroys health, peace of mind, good-will to men, ruins 
the body, and tortures the soul j in a word, makes life, that 
God certainly did not will to be unhappy, the greatest 
misery to its possessor. 

Disobedience to God s will turned the rebellious angels 
out of heaven j it turned our first parents out of paradise ; 
it made Cain a vagabond and a fugitive on earth j it 


drowned the human race in the waters of the Deluge ; it 
brought destruction upon the inhabitants of Sodom and 
Gomorrha. Disobedience to the will of God led the Jews 
often into captivity ; it drowned Pharao and all his host 
in the Red Sea: it turned Nabuchodonosor into a wild 


beast ; it laid the city of Jerusalem in ashes ; it has ruined, 
and will still ruin, whole nations, empires, and kingdoms ; 
it will finally put an end to the world, when all those who 
always rebelled against the will of God will, in an instant, 
be hurled into the everlasting flames of hell by these 
irresistible words of the Almighty : "Depart from me, 
ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for 
the devil and his angels," there to obey the laws of God s 
justice forever. 

5. What, then, should be our greatest care in this world ? 

Our greatest care in this world should be to know and 
to do the holy will of God. 

To serve God according to his will is the principal end 
of life. To regulate all the affairs of the universe, to be 
always successful in our undertakings, to heap up the riches 
of this world, obtain great honors and dignities, extend 
our possessions beyond bounds, without having rendered 
our Creator the service which is due him, is, in the judg 
ment of heaven, to have done nothing, to have lived on 
earth in vain. On the other hand, to have done nothing 
for the world, to have always languished on a sick-bed, to 
have been despised by all our fellow-men, to have lived 
in some obscure abode, but to have served God throughout, 
would be enough, because we should have conducted to its 
last end the only thing for which this present life was 
given us. 

The remembrance of this truth has more than once ren- 


dered the wisdom of children superior to that of old men. 
In a tender age St. Teresa retired into a solitary place, 
and spoke to herself thus : " Teresa, you will be either 
eternally happy or eternally unhappy ! Choose which you 
please. Young Stanislas de Kostka gave all to God, 
and nothing to the world. Being asked why he acted so 
strangely : " I am not made for this world," he replied, 
a but for the world to come." Let the world cry out 
against this truth j let the flesh revolt against it ; let all 
the demons deny and oppose it, it is and remains an 
immortal truth, that we were created by God to serve him 
in this world according to his will, and, as a reward for this 
service, to possess him forever in the next, or to be pun 
ished in hell forever for having refused to obey the Lord. 
Who but an atheist would dare deny this truth ? 




1. Who can teach us how to serve God according to his 

God alone can teach us his holy will, either by himself, 
or by those to whom he has made his ivill known. 

Man was created by God for a state of perfection. 
But man cannot learn even in what that perfection con 
sists, without^ being taught. This is a plain fact. Every 
one bears witness to it. Each one has had a mother who 
taught him the first elements of instruction. The mother 
watches over the gradual dawning of reason. She 
teaches the child how to think, how to reason, by teaching 
it words and language. She teaches it how to distinguish 
between right and wrong, to love virtue, and to hate sin, 
to pray to God. Thus she implanted in the child s heart 
the first lessons of religion. 

The means, then, by which all of us began to acquire 
knowledge, and to advance in the way of perfection, was 
instruction ; and the means by which we continue to 
acquire knowledge and to approach perfection, is also 
instruction. The powers of reasoning, in a full-grown 


man, are but the fruit of instruction. He is still the child 
of men, the child of parents, the child of those who sur 
round him. 

Instruction is necessary, in order to acquire the know 
ledge of natural truths j but instruction is still more 
necessary in order to learn those truths which are super 
natural, and lead us to heaven. For, " hardly do we guess 
aright at things that are upon earth," says Holy Scripture, 
il and with labor do we find the things that are before us : 
but the things that are in heaven, who shall search ? " 
(Wisd. ix, 16.) For this reason St. Paul says: "No 
man knoweth what is in man, except the spirit of man ; 
and in like manner no one knoweth what is of God, unldss 
the spirit of God." (1 Cor. ii, 11.) The end for which 
man was created, his everlasting union with God, says the 
Vatican Council, is far above the human understanding. 
It was, therefore, necessary that God should make him 
self known to man, and teach him the end for which he 
was created, and what he must believe and do, in order 
to become worthy of everlasting happiness. 

2. How does God make himself known 1 

God makes himself known: 1, by the visible world; 
2, by our conscience ; 3, by his word. 

Never, from the very beginning of the world, has God 
the Father, who is most merciful and kind, been wanting 
to his own. Having created men to know him, he did not 
leave them in the dark, but on many occasions, and in 
various ways, manifested himself to them, and pointed 
out, in a manner suited to the times and circumstances, a 
sure and direct path to the happiness of heaven. He 
revealed himself to man by creation. Although hidden in 
creation, he constantly speaks to man through his great 


works. An architect speaks to us through a beautiful 
building, a painter through a painting, a writer through 
a book. God the Father speaks to men in like manner : 
" He hath manifested his power and divinity in the crea 
tion of the world." (Rom. i, 19.) He shows his power in 
the storm, in the cataract, in the earthquake : u For the in 
visible things of him are understood by the things that are 
made." (Rom. i, 20.) He makes known his wisdom in the 
laws by which he governs the boundless universe : " The 
wisdom of God reacheth from end to end mightily, and 
ordereth all things sweetly." (Wisd. viii, 1.) God the 
Father shows his beauty in the flower, in the sunbeam, 
in the many-tinted rainbow j his justice in the punish 
ments which he has inflicted, and continues to inflict, 
on the wicked ; he displays his goodness and liberality 
in the heavens, which give us light and rain j in the 
fire, which gives us warmth j in the air, which preserves 
our life j in the earth, which furnishes us with various 
kinds of fruit j in the sea, which gives us fish 5 in the 
animals, which give us food and clothing : " He left 
not himself without testimony, doing good from heaven, 
giving rains and fruitful seasons." (Acts xiv, 16.) Hence : 
" All men are vain in whom there is not the knowledge 
of God j and who, by these good things that are seen, 
could not understand him that is. neither, by attending 
to the works, have acknowledged who was the workman. 
. . . For, if they were able to know so much as to make 
a judgment of the world, how did they not more easily 
find the Lord thereof? " (Wisd. xiii, 1, 9 ; Rom. i, ; 
Aots xiv, 16.) Therefore, "if any one shall say that 
the one true God, our Creator and Lord, cannot be 
certainty known by the natural light of human reason. 


through created things, let him be accursed." (Vatic. 
Counc. II, !.) 

3. How does God make himself known by our con 
science ? 

By our conscience, God reminds- us of his justice in 
ewarding the good and punishing the tvicked. 

God speaks to man, not only through the visible works 
of his creation, but lalso through an inner voice in the^soul 
of man, which is called conscience. For instance, a wicked 
man ^wishes to gratify his evil desires, without shame, 
without remorse. In order to do this, he tries to get rid 
of religion. So he says: "There is no God, there is no 
hell, there is no hereafter ; there is only this present life, 
and all in it is good." But a secret voice and monitor with 
in him speaks, and will not be silenced, and tells him : 
" There is a just God who will punish you for your crimes in 
hell ; there is a strict and terrible judgment that awaits you 
after death." This is conscience, that never deserts a man, 
that cannot be stifled or killed. In the silence of the night, 
when others are sleeping around him, he cannot sleep. 
His conscience tortures him. It asks him : " Were you 
to die in this state this night, what would become of you? 
It is a terrible thing to fall unprepared into the hands of 
the living God ! Think of eternity ! eternity ! eternity ! 
Think of the worm that never dies, and the fire that never 

/ y 

quenches !" No wonder that men sometimes commit 
suicide. They cannot bear the remorse of conscience, 
and so they try to find rest in death. The hell of the 
wicked begins even in this world, and it continues through 
out all eternity in the next. For this reason St. Paul 
says: " Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man 
that worketh evil." (Rom. ii ; 9.) Witness Adam, who, 


after his fall, hid himself from the face of the Lord amidst 
the trees of paradise."- (Gen. iii, 8.) Cain, who, after the 
murder of his brother Abel, said : " My iniquity is greater 
than that I may deserve pardon. ... I shall be a vagabond 
and a fugitive on the earth. Every one that findeth me 
shall kill me.". (Gen. iv, 13, 14.) Henry VIII, King of 
England, when on his death-bed, took those who stood 
around his Bed for so many monks whom he had cruelly 
treated. This vision was but his bad conscience torment 
ing him for his evil deeds. 

Another man was a great sinner; but he went to 
make a good confession. See him after confession : his 
countenance is radiant with beauty ; his step has become 
again light and elastic, his soul reflects upon his features 
the holy joy with which it is inebriated j he smiles upon 
those whom he meets, and every one sees that he is 
happy. He trembles now no more when he lifts his eyes 
to heaVen j he hopes, he loves ; a supernatural strength 
vivifies and animates him j he feels himself burning with 
zeal and energy to do good ; a new sun has risen upon his 
life, and everything in him puts on the freshness of youth. 
And why ? Because his conscience has thrown off a 
load that bent him to the earth ; it tells him that now he 
is once more the companion of angels ; that he has again 
entered that sweet alliance with God, whom he can now 
justly call his Father ; that he is reinstated in his dignity 
of a child of God. He is no longer afraid of God s 
justice, of death and hell. Now this voice of conscience, 
which fills the souls of the just with peace and happiness, 
and strikes terror into the souls of the wicked, does not 
come from ourselves, for it punishes us, and admonishes 
us to dread an invisible avenger of sin, and to hope in a 


rewarder of virtue ; nor does it come from education, for 
it is found even in the untutored savage. When Columbus 
discovered America, the chieftain of an Indian tribe one 
day said to him : " I am told that thou hast lately come 
to these lands with a mighty force, and subdued many 
countries, spreading great fear among the people ; but be 
not, therefore, vainglorious. Know that, according to 
our belief, the souls of men have two journeys to perform 
after they have departed from the body : one, to a place 
dismal and foul, and covered with darkness, prepared for 
those who have been unjust and cruel to their fellow-men ; 
the other, pleasant and full of delight, for such as have 
promoted peace on earth. If, then, thou art mortal and 
dost expect to die, and dost believe that each one shall be 
rewarded according to his deeds, beware that thou 
wrongfully hurt no man, nor do harm to those who have 
done no harm to thee." (Irving s " Columbus," chap, v, 
p. 483.) From this short oration of a heathen it is 
evident that there is a voice of conscience even in the 
savage, telling him what is right and wrong, praiseworthy 
and blameworthy. 

Therefore, St. Paul says: "When the Gentiles, who 
have not the law, do by nature those things that are of the 
law : these having not the law are a law to themselves, 
who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their 
conscience bearing witness to them, and their thoughts 
between themselves accusing, or also defending one an 
other." (Rom. ii, 14, 15.) The voice of conscience is, then, 
from God, from that holy and just Being who made our 
heart, and from the beginning stamped upon the soul of 
man the conception of right and wrong. Therefore, it is 
said: "In every work of thine regard thy soul in faith ;" 


that is, follow the voice of thy conscience in every work 
of thine, "for this is the keeping of the commandments." 
(Ecclus. xxxii, 27.) 
4. When did God make himself known by his word ? 

God made himself known by his word when he spoke to 
men : 1, in his own person ; 2, by the patriarchs and pro 
phets ; 3, by his only Son. 

God speaks to man by his works ; he speaks to him 
through his conscience. But, in order to leave man no 
possible excuse for not arriving at the knowledge of God, 
lie revealed himself to man by his own word. If a friend 
visits us at night, and finds us sitting in the dark, he speaks, 
he makes use of words, to show that he is really present. 
In like manner God, wishing to reveal himself to man sitting 
in the darkness of this life, addressed words to him. 
This is the very first article of faith. God spoke to our 
first parents in the garden of paradise. After God had 
made man, he appeared to him, and, like a good father, 
told him who he is, why he had made him, and what he 
must believe and do to be happy with him in heaven, and 
escape the everlasting pains of hell. God gave man the 
light of the Holy Ghost, so that man knew God, knew 
his holiness and perfections. And he knew himself, and 
the nature in which God had created him j he knew the 
law of God, the reward attached to its observance, and the 
punishment incurred for its transgression. 

And how intimate was the intercourse between God 
and man, even after the fall ! Though cast out of Eden, 
man had not entirely lost one of his greatest privileges : 
that of hearing the voice of God, and receiving direct 
communication from him. God promised Adam a Re 
deemer j he taught him to offer sacrifice : that is, the way 


in which he wished to be worshipped f for the sake of the 
Redeemer he promised him, and all his descendants, pardon 
and grace to merit heaven, by obeying his law. 

The familiarity between God and Cain and Abel was 
quite as close as it was between God and Adam : " The 
Lord had respect to Abel and his offerings, but to Cain 
and his offerings he had no respect." (Gen. iv, 4, 5.) The 
fall did not entirely break that communion. What broke 
it was the subsequent wickedness of mankind. As in 
the case of Cain, a wilful crime lost him the privilege of 
that near* presence of God which original sin had not. 
But as yet man had very close and constant intercourse 
with God, so constant, that it seems nothing could be done 
in the way of religious observance without God s direction. 
Immediately, too, on sacrifice being offered, there was a 
sensible sign of God s acceptance or otherwise j and a 
voice from God was so usual that no surprise or change 
in ordinary feeling was caused by it. 

5. W no were the patriarchs ? 

The patriarchs were those holy men who lived from f tJie 
time of Adam to that of Moses ; as Noe, Abraham, Isaac, 
Jacob, etc. 

The world in which we live is the temple of God. The 
earth, with its flowers and verdure, forms the carpeted 
floor. The sky above, with its sun and moon and stars, is 
the vaulted dome. God created this temple, in order that 
man might worship him therein, lead a holy life, and gain 
an eternal reward. But God foresaw, from all eternity, 
that man would not always live up to this sublime end. 
God, then, would have been frustrated in his design in 
creating the world, had he not decreed, from all eternity, to 
send a Redeemer, through whom he was to be reconciled 


to man. It was, therefore, principally for the sake of the 
Redeemer that the world was created, for he was to come 
into this world for the justification and glorification of 
man : " Or do enim natures creatus est et institutus propter 
ordinem gratice" says St. Thomas Aquinas. 

The principal end of the creation of the universe is * 
Christ, that through him man might receive the grace of 
God here below, and everlasting glory in the world to 
come. Although it be true that the Eedeemer, so to 
speak, is a certain part of this world, which is prior to 
him in material existence, yet, if considered in his final 
end, he is prior to the world. For this reason St. Paul 
calls our blessed Redeemer, Jesus Christ, the beginning, 
tlie first-born from the dead, that in all things he may hold 
primacy : " Because in him it hath pleased the Father 
that all fulness should dwell, and through him to reconcile 
all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of 
the cross, both as to things on earth, and the things that 
are in heaven." (Col. i, 18-20.) 

As God created the world principally for the sake of 
the Redeemer and his religion, so also for his sake he has 
preserved the world. To create the world, God used no 
effort. He simply said, " Be it done," and all was done. 
But, to redeem the world, God the Father willed that his 
well-beloved Son should become man, sacrifice wealth, 
honors, pleasure, and everything that man holds dear 5 
that he should suffer poverty, contempt, persecution, and 
at last die upon the cross, and pour out every drop of 
his heart s blood. Now, if God preserves the universe, 
the material temple, for the sake of religion, he must, of 
course, watch with still greater care over the preservation 
of his religion. Wishing, then, that the religion revealed 


to Adam should be handed down tmcorrupted to his 
descendants, and foreseeing, at the same time, that this 
religion would be abandoned or misinterpreted by many, 
he provided, from the beginning, a set of holy men called 
patriarchs, to whom he spoke, and who, in his name, 
should proclaim the revealed truths, and teach the way of 
salvation to their fellow-rnen. 

The first who abandoned the truth was Cain, Adam s son. 
He*had sinned in the choice of his offering. God reproached 
him for it. Instead of being sorry for his sin, he added 
to it the sin of murder. Soon after, God appeared to him, 
saying : u Cain, where is thy brother Abel I " u I know 
nothing of him : am I my brother s keeper f " he impu 
dently replied. u What hast thou done with thy brother T y 
said the Lord. " Thou hast killed him, thou hast shed his 
blood upon the ground, and that blood cries to heaven for 
vengeance. Cursed shalt thou be, a wanderer and a 
vagabond on the earth." This terrible threat was fulfilled 
to the letter, and for several hundred years that Cain lived 
after, he was made to suffer the frightful consequences 
of his crime. 

Cain was now banished from the u face of the Lord," 
and was condemned to live separate from the members of 
Adam s family, who feared God. He became the father 
of a numerous family, who were brought up by him with 
out any fear or knowledge of God. Cain had now become 
what is called an open infidel or unbeliever, and had ceased 
to tea x ch and practise any religious duty. God, however, 
provided a believer and faithful bearer of truth in Seth, 
the next son of Adam, born after the murder of Abel. 
The whole family of Cain were unbelievers, who neVer 
troubled themselves in any way at all about prayer or 


sacrifice, or the worship of God ; while Seth was a just 
man, who taught all his household to fear God, and to 
offer the sacrifices which God had commanded. Enos, the 
son of Seth, was particularly remarkable for having exerted 
himself to assemble the people for the public worship of 
God j and so strong was the feeling on the part of the 
different families of Seth and Cain, that they remained 
for some centuries separated from one another 5 the relig 
ious families looking upon the impious race as quite unfit 
company for themselves, and the unbelievers having just 
the same scorn and contempt for those who feared God as 
the same kind of persons have still at the present day. 
Then began the distinctive term, " sons of God," or 
" people of God," in contradistinction to the term, u sons 
of men," the descendants of Cain. 

In this state of things Almighty God showed mercy to 
the unbelieving race. He sent Enoch, a very holy man, 
to warn them that God would come surrounded with all 
his holy angels, "to execute a judgment against all the 
blasphemers of his name, for all the hard things they had 
spoken against him." (Jude xv.) God, however, gave 
them still a trial of one hundred and twenty years ; but 
seeing that, instead of profiting by his repeated warnings, 
they grew more wicked, he destroyed them all in the 

All men, except the pious Noe, with his family, had 
perished in the Deluge. Noe taught his children the re 
ligion which God had taught man from the beginning. 
From him all nations carried away with them, into the 
lands in which they settled, the knowledge of a just God ? 
who rewards the good and punishes the wicked ; the hope 
in a Redeemer to come ; the consciousness of right and 


wrong ; the duty of prayer, and of observing the Sabbath 
with sacrifices. Such was the simple religion which Noe 
taught his sons j and this would have continued if the 
nations had preserved what they had learned from Noe. 
Unhappily, however, they did not preserve it. Though 
they were too frightened at the memory of the" terrible 
judgment of the Deluge to become infidels like the people 
before the Deluge, they began to wish for objects of wor 
ship which they might be able to see. So they gave 
themselves up to their evil inclinations, and became, at 
last, so wicked and foolish, that, instead of worshipping the 
true God, they worshipped the sun and the moon, certain 
men and animals, and even idols of gold and silver, and of 
stone and wood. 

At this time, about three hundred and fifty years after 
the Deluge, God appeared to Abraham, and commanded 
him to leave his country, his family, his home, in order 
that he might not be exposed to the society of the wicked, 
and to induce him to consider the earth as a place of exile, 
and heaven his true home ; to make him the father of a 
people who were to be different, in manners and religion, 
from all the other peoples of the earth. Abraham believed 
and obeyed God, who rewarded him for his submission. 
By a solemn alliance which he made with him, God prom 
ised to take him and his posterity under his protection, 
to make him the father of a great people, to give him a 
land that was rich and abundant, called Chanaan, for 
himself and his posterity. God also promised that the 
Redeemer, or Messiah, should be born of the race of Abra 
ham. (Gen. xviii.) God swore by himself to the fulfilment 
of these promises, and appointed circumcision as a mark 
to distinguish Abraham and his posterity from all the other 


peoples of the earth. (Gen. xvii, 14; xxii, 16; Heb. vi, 
13; xvi, 17.) 

Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, and heir to the 
promise, went into Egypt, where the covenant, and the 
warning threats against those who forgot God, began to 
be fulfilled. The descendants of Abraham became very 
numerous, but they entirely lost his singleness of mind 
and purity of heart. God, ever faithful to his warnings, 
in order to centre in himself the hopes and aspirations of 
this ungrateful people, caused them to feel the bitterness 
and ignominy of the degrading bondage of the Egyptians, 
but at the same time raised up Moses to be among them 
the representative of the God of Abraham, Isaac and 
Jacob. Holy Scripture tells us that God also appeared 
and spoke to many other holy and illustrious men. All 
these were teachers from God, and therefore infallible 
in their teaching, " whether men would hear, or whether 
they would forbear." That patriarchal body, simply 
because it was God s ordinance, was a guide, sure and 
infallible, to the extent of the revelation of God, as then 
made known. 

<>, How did the patriarchs serve God ? 

The patriarchs served God: 1, by faith, hope, and 
charity ; 2, by prayer and sacrifice ; 3, by doing what they 
knew to be the ivill of God. 

During their lives the patriarchs gave abundant proofs 
of their implicit faith in the one living God, of their firm 
hope in the faithfulness of his promises, and of their char 
ity toward God, by scrupulously keeping his command 
ments, and walking reverently in his sight. Holy Scripture 
tells us of Henoch : " Henoch walked with God, and was 
seen no more, because God took him." (Gen. v, 24.) 


This tf walking with God " is, of course, walking by God s 
rule or law, leading a practical, highly religious life, and 
consequently enjoying close communion with God on 
earth, especially when at prayer, and in the act of offering 
sacrifice to the Lord. The patriarchs had their places of 
worship. They did not merely worship God under the 
vault of heaven ; they had places set apart for divine wor 
ship. The phrase, " before the Lord," frequently occurs, 
and in a local sense. Cain and Abel, for instance, brought 
their offerings to a certain spot ; and when Cain was ban 
ished, he " went out from the face of the Lord " (Gen. iv, 
16), which, in regard to God s omnipresence, would, of 
course, have been impossible. The reference, therefore, 
is to a local presence, to a place in which God met his 
worshippers, and made himself known to them, either by 
showing his glory, or by an answer to prayer, or by some 
other sensible means. So, also, in the case of Abraham 
(Ibid, xviii, 22), after the angel had left him, and gone 
toward Sodom, "Abraham as yet stood before the Lord." 

The patriarchs clearly believed that in certain places, 
especially consecrated to his service, God would be best 
propitiated and served, 

Then, again, besides places of worship, there were min 
isters : special persons appointed to officiate, and to offer 
sacrifice. The instance of Melchisedech shows this : " He 
was priest of the most high God." And Abraham must 
have been quite familiar with the character of the priestly 
office, from the respect which he showed Melchisedech, and 
his- receiving a blessing from him : " Without all contradic 
tion, that which is less is blessed by the greater." (Heb. 
vii, 7.) f ^ 

The patriarchs had also their religious ceremonies and 


customs. There was the consecration ceremonial, by which 
places were set apart for worship, by anointing them with 
oil, as at Bethel, when Jacob anointed the pillar, and 
poured a drink-offering on it. 

There was the ceremony of baring the feet on entering 
consecrated places, which is still observed in the East. 

There was also a posture for worship, viz., the bowing 
down to the ground in prayer before the Lord. 

There was a special day for the performance of 
religious duties : the Sabbath, the institution of which dates 
from the creation, appearing in the book of Genesis by 
the mention of weeks. Noe, we are told, "waited yet 
seven other days," and "sent forth the dove out of the 
ark, 7 and " he stayed yet other seven days, and he sent forth 
the dove, which returned not any more unto him." (Gen. 
viii,l2.) " And before the giving of the ten commandments, 
it is spoken of as a Sabbath : " And he said to them, this is 
what the Lord has spoken : To-morrow is the rest of the 
Sabbath, sanctified to the Lord." (Ex. xvi, 23.) And in 
the 27th verse of the same chapter we have that Sabbath 
spoken of as the seventh day: "And the seventh day 
came, and some of the people going forth to gather (the 
manna) found none." 

From all this it is clear that the patriarchs were men of 
a lively and definite faith ; men of constant prayer, and 
models of scrupulous exactitude in complying with all the 
prece pts of the Lord. The God of Abraham, Isaac and 
Jacob, live.s among us Christians with a far more tender 
love. What a shame and confusion for us, if, on the 
day of judgment, we shall see that the patriarchs have 
surpassed us in faith, hope and charity ! 


7. Who were the prophets ? 

The prophets were holy men, sent ~by God to teach 
especially the Jeivish people to observe God j s law given 
through Moses. 

About the time of Moses the grossest darkness of the 
understanding, and the most lamentable depravity of the 
will, prevailed almost over the entire world. All mankind, 
with the exception of the Jews, had lost the knowledge of 
God, and the hope in the Redeemer to come ; they w<3r- 
shipped creatures, even the very demons, as gods, and 
the most shameful vices were praised as virtues. From 
the corrupt mass of mankind, however, God had chosen 
the Jews, or Israelites, as his people ; over them he 
watched with special care, in order that, through them, all 
those truths of religion which he had made known to man 
kind from the beginning, should be preserved, and that 
from them, at last, should be born one holy enough to be the 
mother of the Redeemer. God appeared to Moses, his 
faithful servant, and made him his great lawgiver, pro 
phet, and performer of miracles. Through him he led the 
Jews out of Egypt, gave them the ten commandments, 
and instituted the priesthood of Aaron, whose duty it was 
to preserve and to teach all that God had commanded the 
Jews to observe in their religion. 

From time to time, God sent other prophets for the 
salvation of his people. These men led holy lives, often 
secluded from the world, in poverty and hardship. They 
left their retreats only by the order of God, and to perf6rm 
the duties of their ministry ; they did not flatter kings 
}r princes ; they denounced all evildoers, regardless of 
their smiles or frowns j they sought only God and his 
holy religion. Good kings honored the prophets as men 


of God j the wicked persecuted them, and sometimes put 
them to death, because these holy men fre ely denounced 
their evil passions, and reproached them with their crimes. 
Very celebrated prophets were Elias, Eliseus, Isaias, 
Jeremias, Ezechiel and Daniel. 

8. How did the prophets prove their divine mission ? 
The prophets proved their divine mission ~by miracles 

and prophecies. 

When God sent a prophet to his people, he would speak 
to him in this or a similar manner : " I sanctified thee, and 
made thee a prophet unto the nations . . . thou shalt go 
to all that I shall send thee : and whatsoeVer I shall com 
mand thee, thou shalt speak." (Jer. i, 57.) Now, in order 
to make the people believe the prophets, God wrought 
through them great miracles. 

9. What is a miracle ? 

A miracle is an extraordinary worJc, which cannot be 
done by natural powers, but by the power of God alone. 

A miracle is an effect produced contrary to the laws 
of nature, and which can be performed by the power of 
God alone. He has established the order of nature. He 
also can change and suspend that order. He alone can 
derogate from the laws which he has established for the 
government of the world, so that, when a miracle takes 
place, God acts and makes known his power. When 
a man, then, declares himself to be a messenger from 
God, and at the same time, in support of the truth of 
his assertions, performs true miracles, his assertion must 
certainly be believed. His declaration is confirmed by 
the power of God, who cannot allow the performance of a 
miracle in support of deception or lying. Miracles are, as 
it were, credentials signed by the hand of God himself j 


and not to believe an assertion so confirmed, is to resist 
the voice of God, who speaks through miracles. 
Miracles were, then, the strongest and most striking 
proofs which God could furnish, in order to make the 
people believe the prophets. Elias, for instance, pre 
vented rain for three years, exterminated four hundred 
and fifty idolatrous priests, raised to life the son of a 
widow, made fire descend from heaven, divided the river 
Jordan with his mantle, and passed through it on dry 
land, confronted kings, was fed by a raven and an angel, 
foretold that Je sabel, an idolatrous queen, would be 
devoured by dogs ; he was carried in a chariot of fire to 
heaven, and he will return to the earth at the end of the 
world, to lalbor for the conversion of the Jews. (3 Kings 
xvii ; 4 Kings, i ; Ecclus. xlviii ; Mai. iv, 5 ; Matt, xi, 14, 
xvii, 10; James v, 17.) 

Eliseus, like Elias, made a dry path through the waters 
of the Jordan, multiplied oil for a widow, raised a dead 
child to life again, cured Naaman of leprosy, foretold the 
victory of the kings of Juda, Israel, and Idumea, over the 
Moabites ; also the miraculous victories of the Israelites 
over the Syrians ; and lastly, by the touch of his body, he 
raised a dead man to life. (4 Kings xvii ; Ecclus. xlviii, 
13; Lukeiv, 27.) 

10. To whom does God graint the gift of miracles ? 

God grants the gift of miracles to such only as hola or 
teach the truth. 

God is true. He can neither deceive nor be deceived, 
and therefore he can reveal nothing but the truth. To 
convince men of the truth, he has wrought miracles in 
confirmation of the truth. " In order that the obedience 
of our faith, 7 says the Vatican Council (c. iii), " might 


be in harmony with reason, God willed that to the interior 
help of the Holy Spirit there should be joined exterior 
proofs of his revelation, to wit : divine facts, and especially 
miracles and prophecies, which, as they manifestly display 
the omnipotence and infinite kno wledge of God, are most 
certain proofs of his divine revelation, adapted to the intelli 
gence of all men. Wherefore, Moses and the prophets . . . 
showed forth many and most evident miracles and pro 
phecies." If God, then, performs miracles through certain 
men, it is evident that they hold and teach the truth, for 
it would be blasphemous to think that God would grant 
the gift of miracles to such as neither hold nor teach the 

There were false prophets before and after the coming 
of the Redeemer. They pretended to be sent by God ; 
and to prove their divine mission, they tried to perform 
miracles. But they never succeeded. In some instances 
they succeeded, by the help of the devil, whose ministers 
they were, in performing certain wonderful things, or 
false miracles. When Moses performed great miracles 
before Pharao in Egypt, the magicians of the king tried 
to imitate the miracles of the great servant of God. They 
cast their rods before the king, and, by devilish enchant 
ments, their rods seemed to be changed into serpents. But, 
when Moses continued to perform miracles, the magicians 
were constrained to confess that they were unable to do 
what Mo ses did, saying to the king, " This is the finger 
of God." 

One day the prophet Elias " came to all the people of 
Israel and said : How long do you halt between two sides? 
If the Lord be God, follow him j but if Baal, then follow 
him. And the people did not answer him a word, And 


Elias said again to the people : I only remain a prophet 
of the / Lord : but the prophets of Baal are four hundred 
and fifty men. Let two bullocks be given us, and let 
them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in 
pieces and lay it upon wood ; but put no fire under ; and 
I will dress the other bullock and lay it on wood, and put no 
fire under. Call ye on the names of your gods, and I will call 
on the name of my Lord : and the god that shall answer 
by fire, let him be God. And all the people answering said : 
A very good proposal. Then Elias said to the prophets 
of Baal : Choose you one bullock, and dress it first, be 
cause you are many : and call on the names of youi 
gods, but put no fire under. And they took the bullock 
which he gave them, and dressed it : and they called or 
the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, O 
Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that 
answered. And when it was now noon, Elias jested at 
them, saying : Cry with a louder voice, for he is a god, 
and perhaps he is talking, or is in an inn, or on a journey, 
or perhaps he is asleep and must be waked. So they cried 
with a loud voice . . . but there was no voice heard, 
nor did any one answer, nor regard them as they prayed. 
Elias said to all the people : Come ye unto me. 
And the people coming near unto him, he repaired the 
altar of the Lord, that was broken down. And he built 
with twelve stones an altar to the name of the Lord, and 
he made a trench for water of the breadth of two furrows 
round about the altar. And he laid the wood in Order, and 
cut the bullock in pieces, and laid it upon the wood, and 
he said : Fill four buckets with water, and pour it up6n 
the burnt-offering, and upon the wood. And he said, Do 
the same the second and the third time, And the water 


ran round about the altar, and the trench was filled with 
water. And when it was now time to offer the holocaust, 
Elias the prophet came near and said : Lord God of 
Abraham, and Isaac and Israel, show this day that thou 
art the God of Israel, and I thy servant, and that accord 
ing to thy commandments I have done all these things. 
Hear me O Lord, hear me, that thy people may learn that 
thou art the Lord God. Then the fire of the Lord fell 
and consumed the holocaust, and the wood, and the stones, 
and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the 
trench. And when all the people saw this they fell 
on their faces, and they said : The Lord he is God, the 
Lord he is God." (3 Kings xviii.) 

When Simon the Magician, by the aid of the devil, 
raised himself in the air, to make the people of Rome 
believe that he was sent by God, St. Peter and St. Paul 
prayed that God might confound this false prophet; and 
suddenly Simon fell from on high, broke his legs, and was 

At the time of Martin Luther, a certain man named 
William was drowned. Luther was requested to raise him 
to life again. He commanded him repeatedly to rise from 
the dead. It was all in vain. (Bredenbach. 1. vii, c. 1.) 

A certain Lutheran preacher begged a man named 
Matthew to feign death, and have himself carried as a 
corpse to the church, and then to rise at his bidding, so 
that the people might believe he had been raised to life 
again by the prayer of a Protestant preacher. Matthew 
complied with the request. He was carried to the church, 
apparently dead. The preacher approached the coffin and 
said in a loud voice : " Matthew, I command you to rise in 
the name of Christ, whose Gospel I preach." But Matthew 


never rose. He was dead ; God had punished him. (Franc. 
Torrianus, 1. i, " De Dogmatibus.") 

Frederick Staphil relates that Luther once endeavored 
to cast out the devil from a possessed girl in Wirtemberg, 
but he was so terrified, that he tried to escape, both by the 
door and the window, which, to his great consternation, 
were both made fast. Finally, one of his companions broke 
open the door with a hatchet, and they escaped. (Resp. 
contra Jac. Smidelin, p. 404.) Moses, Elias, and other 
true prophets, proved by real miracles that they were sent 
by Almighty God, and spoke what God inspired them to 
speak. Hence they were readily believed when they 
reminded the people of keeping the law of God, exhorted 
them to repentance, and extolled the tender mercies of 
the Lord. u If, then," says the Vatican Council, " any 
one shall say that divine revelation cannot be made 
credible by outward signs, and therefore that men ought 
to be moved to faith solely by the internal experience of 
each, or by private inspiration;" or, u if any one shall 
say that miracles are impossible, and therefore that all the 
accounts regarding them, even those contained in Holy 
Scripture," are to be dismissed as fabulous or mystical, or 
that miracles can never be known with certainty, and 
that the divine origin of Christianity cannot be proved 
by them, let him be accursed." (Vatic. Counc. Ill, can. 
3 and 4. 1 ) 

11. What is a prophecy? 

A prophecy is tlie foretelling of some future event, known 
to him only to ivJiom God revealed it. 

Through the prophets God also made known to the 
Jews what should happen to them, and in connection with 
them ; what should happen to other nations ; but he ^ 


cially foretold, through them, the Messiah, whom the Jews 
expected, and by whom all nations were to be saved. 

As to the Jews, the prophets foretold the general ruin 
of the kingdom of Israel : that the city and temple 
would be destroyed, and restored for a time ; that the 
Jews would be captives in Babylon, and that they would 
again return j that they would reject the Messiah, and 
put him to death ; that God would abandon them, and dis 
perse them over the whole earth ; that he would make an 
eternal covenant with another people, and that the Jews 
would be converted at the end of the world. 

As to the prophecies concerning the Messiah, the 
prophet Daniel foretold the precise time of the Messiah s 
coming. While the Jews were captives in Babylon, God 
sent his a ngel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel to inform 
him : 1, that the city and the temple of Jerusalem would 
be rebuilt ; and, 2, that seventy weeks would elapse from 
the publication of the edict for the rebuilding of the city 
and temple to the coming of Christ j 3, that in the middle 
of the seventieth week the Messiah would be put to 
death j 4, that he would be rejected by his own people, 
and consequently would cease to regard them as his ; 5, 
that, after this, the city and the temple would be entirely 
destroyed; 6, that, before the demolition of the temple, 
the abomination of desolation would be seen in that holy 
place j and, 7, that, immediately after, the Jews would 
suffer a desolation which would endure to the end of time. 
(Dan. ix, 24, 25, 27.) 

The prophet s weeks are understood, by all interpreters 
of the Holy Scriptures, to mean years for days, so that 
sixty-nine weeks of years amount to 483 years. The 
edict for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem was made by 



Artaxerxes Longimanus, in the twentieth year of his 
reign, which was the year of the world 3548. Now, if 
to 3548 we add Daniel s weeks of years, 483, the number 
will be 4031, which is the year of Christ s baptism by St. 
John, and the commencement of his public life, lasting 
about three years and three months, the middle of the last 
seventieth week, in which Christ was put to death. The 
Jews abandoned and denied Jesus ; they were rejected 
by him as reprobates, and then the Romans destroyed 
their city and temple : the abominations committed in the 
temple, as described by Josephus, were horrible. Since 
that time the Jews have been dispersed over the whole 
earth, and, though even aided in their attempts to rebuild 
Jerusalem by idolatrous emperors who hated Christianity, 
they failed in every effort. 

Isaias foretold that the Messiah should be born of a 
virgin : " Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, 
and his name shall be called Emmanuel." (Isa. vii, -15 ) 
"And Christ was conceived by the power of the Holy 
Ghost, and born of the Blessed Virgin Mary," (Matt, i, 23.) 

Micheas foretold that the Redeemer should be born In 
the city of Bethlehem, as even the Jews declared to the 
Magi, in the presence of Herod. (Mich, v, 2 ; Matt, ii, 5, 
6.) And Christ chose to be born in a stable of Bethlehem. 

/ / / 

Isaias and David foretold all the pains, sorrows, and 
insults, which the Saviour was to endure, and that, in a 
manner so precise and accurate, as to lead one to suppose 
that they had been eye-witnesses of the sufferings of the 
Redeemer : " I have given my body to the strikers, and 
my cheeks to them that plucked them ; I have not turned 
away my face from them that rebuked me, and spit upon 

me." (Isa. 1, 6.) "I am a worjj^and no man, the 


reproach of men, and the outcast of the people. " (Ps. xxi, 
7.) " There is no beauty in him, nor comeliness : de 
spised and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and 
acquainted with infirmity : surely he hath borne our intir- 
.mities, and carried our sorrows, and we have thought him 
as it were a le per, and as one struck by God, and afflicted." 
(Isa. liii.) " And they gave me gall for my food, and in my 
thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. " (Ps. Ixviii, 22.) 
" Many dogs have encompassed me : the council of the 
malignant hath besieged me. They have dug my hands 
and feet, they have numbered all my bones. They parted 
rny garments amongst them, and upon my vesture they 
cast lots." (Ps. xxi, 17-19.) 

David foretold the resurrection and ascension of the 
Redeemer, saying, u Thou hast ascended on high, hast 
led captivity captive." (Ps. Ixvii, 19.) " Sing ye to God, 
who.mounteth above the heavens." (Ps. Ixvii, 34.) 

The prophet Joel foretold that the Redeemer would 
send down the Holy Ghost : "I will pour out my spirit 
upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall 
prophesy." (Chap, ii, 28.) 

The Saviour s everlasting priesthood was also foretold 
in these words: " He shall be a priest upon his throne 7 
(Zach. vi, 13) ; "Thou art a priest forever, according to 
the order of Melchisedech." (Ps. cix, 4.) 

The prophets also foretold the conversion of the Gentiles, 
and the foundation, spread and duration of Christ s Church, 
saying that the Messiah shall be the light of the Gentiles, 
and that all nations of the earth shall be blessed in him ; 
that he shall establish a new sacrifice, and a new priest 
hood, and found a kingdom of God, reaching from sea to 
sea, to the end of the earth, which shall never be destroyed, 


but shall stand forever. (Mai. i, 11 ; Isa. Ixvi, 21 j- Jer. iii, 
15; Zach. ix, 10; Dan. ii, 44, and vii, 14.) 

12. Why were all those prophecies made? 

They were made : 1 , to keep alive man s hope in tlie Re 
deemer to come; 2, to prepare him to receive the Redeemer. 

When God intends to do something very extraordinary, 
lie generally prepares men for it by revealing to them, 
beforehand, what he -is about to do. When he intended 
to destroy the world by the Deluge, he made it known 
through Noe, a hundred years before the event took place. 
God acts- thus with men because he does not wish to 
overwhelm them by his strange and mysterious dealings. 
Now the most wonderful thing that God ever decreed is 
the sending of the Redeemer, the Incarnation of his well- 
beloved Son, for the salvation of mankind. From the 
beginning he made provision that, by the holy patriarchs, 
the hope in the Redeemer should be carefully preserved 
am6ng the people. But the nearer the time apprdached 
for his coming, the more did God the Father reve x al, 
through his prophets, portions of the Jewish history, as 
well as what regarded the religion to be established by 
the Redeemer, in order that the Jews, seeing in their own 
immediate history these prophecies verified by the e^vent, 
might find in them an evident proof of the prophecies 
regarding the Messiah and his religion, know him theVeby, 
and receive him with great joy and gratitude. These 
prophecies were made, long before the coming of the 
Redeemer, for Malachias, the last of the prophets, pro - 
phesied four hundred and filfty years before Christ. They 
were carefully preserved and read by the Jews as divine 
oracles j they also were translated into different languages, 
and spread among the pagan nations. Now if it is asked : 


13. In- whom were all those prophecies fulfilled? 

The answer is : In Jesus Christ, the Son of God ; and 
in Christ were also fulfilled all those figures which related 
to or typified his life, as ivill be seen in . the next instruction. 

14. In what condition was mankind at the coming of 
the Redeemer ? 

, With the exception of the Jews, all mankind had fallen 
into idolatry and all kinds of vices-. 

God the Father had promised a Redeemer- to our first 
parents, but he did not send him immediately after their 
fall. He waited about four thousand years before sending 
him, in order that men might feel their weakness and 
misery, and the need they had of a Redeemer, sigh for 
his coming, and appreciate the great blessings which they 
were to receive through him. When Christ came at 
length, the grossest ignorance and immorality prevailed 
everywhere. The true God was hardly known, save in 
one single corner of the earth, in Judca : and even there, 
how very few knew and loved him ! As to the rest of 
the world, some worshipped the sun, some the brutes, some 
the very stones, and others again even viler creatures 
still ; nay, many even worshipped the very demons as 

Everywhere there reigned the night of sin which blinds 
souls, and hides from them the sight of the miserable state 
in which they are living as enemies of God, condemned . 
to^hell. The most degrading vices were extolled even as 
virtues. The world cried for light. Men could no longer 
see their way. Why are we here ? Who made us ? 
Whither are we going ? Whence the evil in the world f 
Why have we a desire for immortality ? Why does noth 
ing on earth satisfy us ? Why our yearning for perpetual 


happiness ? Such were the questions that resounded 
everywhere in the schools of philosophy, in the forum, in 
the market-place, in the temple, at the fireside. No one 
could answer ; and yet the social, domestic and religious 
happiness of the world was at stake on these questions 
then, as it is now. What remedy could be applied to heal 
such inveterate evils of the mind and the will ? Pagan 
philosophers, poets and orators, had tried their best to 
elevate mankind j but they had tried in vain. It had be 
come evident to all that no human means were adequate 
to remedy the e" vils of the world, and make mankind triily 
happy. " God himself, " exclaimed the great Plato, 
" must come down and be our master and our guide." 
(De Legib. 1, 4.) " Yes, 7 say the fathers of the Vatican 
Council, " if any one shall say that it is impossible or in 
expedient that man should be taught by divine revelation, 
concerning God and the worship to be paid to him, let 
him be accursed." (Vatic. Counc. II, can. 2.) 

God had tried, in many ways, to make the pagans return 
to him, and do penance for their sins. He sent the terri 
ble disaster of the universal deluge ; he sent fire upo y n the 
cities of Sodom and Gomorrha j he chastised Egypt, 
Chanaan, and many other places, in a most frightful ma n- 
ner. He made prophets and other holy men live among 
them, as Daniel, Jonas, Job, to teach them by word and 
example how to worship the true God and be saved : u He 
scattered the Israelites among the Gentiles, in order that 
they might declare to them his wonderful works, and that 
there is no other Almighty God besides him." (Tob. xiii, 
4.) He instructed King Nabuchodonosor by dreams, Bal- 
tassar by a mysterious handwriting on the wall j he also 
spoke to the pagans by the inner voice of their conscience, 


and by natural blessings, "doing good to them from 
heaven, giving rains and fruitful seasons." (Acts xiv, 16.) 
But all was in vain with the greater part of them. They 
plunged themselves deeper and deeper in the abyss of 
idolatry and immorality. Nothing could draw them from 
their evil ways, and stop the universal corruption. 

But mankind, though without God, and estranged from 
Mm, everywhere looked anxiously forward to the coming 
of ll The desired of nations," foretold by the prophets,- a 
season annually commemorated by the Catholic Church in 
her service during Advent, when she sings again the an 
them of the prophet : " Drop down dew, ye heavens, from 
above, and let the clouds rain the Just ; let the earth be 
opened, and bud forth a Saviour." (Isa. xlv, 8.) The " ful 
ness of time " came at last. " The light shone into the dark 
ness :" Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came and was this 
light by his holy doctrine, divine example, and the means 
which he gave us to obtain the grace of God, and lead 
holy lives. 


1. Through whom did God reveal himself most clearly 1 

Through his only Son, Jesus Christ, whom he sent to 
teach us : 1, what ive must believe ; 2, what we must do ; 
3, what means of grace we must use to be saved. 

There is in the human heart a craving, a necessity, 
to have God for teacher, and God himself satisfied this 
Braving which he implanted in the human heart. God 


the Father spoke to our first parents in paradise j he spoke 
to the patriarchs and prophets, and finally, as St. Paul 
assures us, he has spoken, for the last time, by his dnly- 
begotten Son. 

But merely to hear the voice of a friend is not enough, 
the heart longs for something more : the eyes yearn to look 
upon him. God knows this want of the human heart, and 
he has satisfied it. The prophets besought him, again and 
again, to show himself: "Show us thy face, Lord, and 
we shall be saved." This, too, was the ardent prayer of 
Moses : a Lord ! show me thy glory. 7 (Exod. xxxiii, 

In the Old Law God satisfied this desire, by manifesting 
his presence to the Israelites, under the form of a cloud 
and a pillar of fire. He next commanded an ark or 
tabernacle to be made, and there he manifested his presence 
by a peculiar, supernatural light, called the Shekinah. 
But all this satisfied neither man s heart, nor God s un 
bounded love. If we love a person dearly, it is not enough 
for us to hear his voice, or to see him in disguise : we wish 
to behold him face to face. God gratified even this desire. 
He had commanded a tabernacle of wood to be made by 
the hand of man, and that tabernacle he chose for his 
dwelling-place. But now, when the fulness of time was 
come, when God had decreed to send his Son into the 
world that we might be rede emed and adopted as children ; 
then, with his own divine hands, he made a living taber 
nacle, holy and spotless, the Immaculate Virgin Mary, 
and in that tabernacle he took up his abode. There he 
formed for himself a human body and soul : u Thence he 
came forth and appeared," as St. Augustine says, " to men, 
to a world in the decline of old age, and in the throes of 


death, in order that, while everything about them 
rapidly going to decay, he might, by his presence, infuse 
into all new life and fresh vigor. 7 In becoming man, God 
revealed himself most clearly. Men saw God ? heard -God 7 
even touched God. 

2. JIow do we know that Jesus Christ is the promised 
Redeemer, and the Son of God ? 

We learn it : 1, from the mouths of the prophets: 2, 
from the declarations of the angels ; 3, from the testimony 
of his heavenly Father ; and, 4, from his oivn testimony. 

The prophets had foretold the coming of a great king, 
but not a king of this world ; Otherwise they would not 
have described him as the " reproach of men, and the out 
cast of the people r (Ps. xxi, 7), nor called him u a man 
of sorrows." (Tsa. liii, 3, 4.) They promised a king of a 
spiritual and supernatural kingdom which was to begin 
and spread over the earth, to be consummated o nly in 
heaven. Now, what the prophets had foretold of the 

/ f - I rJ 

Redeemer, was all visibly and historically fulfilled in 
Christ, the son of God ; and to deny this true and real ful 
filment of prophecy in the person, the life and the death of 
Christ, and the effect of his life, death, and teaching, on the 
world, is to deny the value of all testimony, and the truth 
of all history. Jesus Christ came at the time foretold by 
the prophets ; he lived, suffered and died, in the manner 
foretold by the prophets 5 he rose from the dead, asce nded 
into heaven, and founded an everlasting kingdom, the 
Church, as was foretold by the prophets. And not only 
do we see fulfilled in Christ the prophecies regarding the 
Redeemer, but we see also fulfilled in him all the figures 
by which the deeds and sufferings of the Redeemer were 
indicated many centuries before. The principal types 


or figures of Jesus Christ are, Abel, Noe, Isaac, Joseph, 
and Jonas. Abel is a figure of the Messiah, because he 
offered sacrifice, was killed by his own brother, and be 
cause his blood cried aloud to heaven for vengeance. 
Our Lord offered sacrifice, was put to death by the Jews, 
his brethren, and his blood cried to heaven for mercy, 
Abel s murderer became a vagabond on the face of the 
earth ; the murderers of our Lord are condemned to wan 
der over the earth without priest, without king, without 
sacrifice. Noe is a figure of Jesus Christ. " Noe " sig 
nifies consoler ; " Jesus " signifies saviour. Noe alone finds 
grace before God j our Lord alone finds grace before his 
Father. Noe built an ark, which saved him and his 
family from the Deluge ; our Lord built a Church, to save 
from eternal death all who are willing to enter it. Isaac 
is a figure of Jesus Christ. Isaac is the well-beloved son 
of his father ; our Lord is the well-beloved son of the 
Eternal. Isaac, though innocent, is condemned to death, 
is to be sacrificed by his father, and must himself caYry 
the wood j Jesus Christ is innocently condemned to death ; 
is immolated by his Father, through the hands of the Jews, 
and carries on his shoulders the wood of the cross. 
When Isaac was tied to the pile, he did not a murmur 
and when our Saviour was tied to a pillar, he did not com 
plain. Joseph, too, is a figure of the Redeemer. Joseph, 
the well-beloved son of his father, is sold by his brethren 
to strange merchants, is condemned for a crime of which 
he is innocent, is found in a prison with two criminals, 
to one of whom he announces pardon, to the other 
punishment. Our Lord, the beloved son of his Father, is 
maltreated by his brethren, the Jews j is sold by Judas, 
aiid given up to the Romans j is condemned for crimes of 


which he is innocent ; is placed on a cross between two 
criminals ; promises heaven to one, and leaves the other 
to his perdition. And as Joseph passed from a prison 
to a throne, so our Lord passed from the cross to the 
throne of God. Jonas, who remained three days in the 
whale, and was delivered from it, is a figure of Jesus 
remaining three days in the grave, and then arising 

from it. 

j f 

From the writings of their own prophets Christ proved 
to the Jews that he was the Redeemer promised and 
expected from the beginning of the world : " Search the 
Scriptures," said he to the Jews, "and the same are they 
that give testimony of me." (John v, 39.) He also con 
vinced the unbelieving disciples from the writings of the 
prophets, saying to them : " foolish and slow of heart 
to believe in all things which the prophets have spoken. 
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to 
enter into his glory ? And beginning at Moses and all the 
prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures 
the things concerning him." (Luke xxiv, 2528.) 

From the same writings of the prophets Christ proved 
also that he was God ; for the prophets call the Redeemer : 
" God, God with us, the Wonderful, the Father of the 
world to come the Lord, Jehova, our Just One," etc. (Isa. 
14 ; ix, 6 ; xxxv, 4 j Dan. ix, 24 ; Jer. xxiii, 6.) 

The angels, too, bore witness that Christ was God and 
the Saviour of the world. The angel Gabriel said to the 
Blessed Virgin : " The Holy Ghost shall come upon 
thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow 
thee. And therefore, also, the Holy which shall be born of 
thee, shall be called the Son of God." (Luke i, 35.) 
" Thou shalt call his name Jesus," said the angel to St. 


Joseph, ll for he shall save his people from their sins." 
(Matt. i, xxi.) 

When Christ was born, an a^igel appeared to the shep 
herds, saying : "Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good 
tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the pe ople. For 
this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. 77 
(Luke ii, 8-11.) 

But Jesus had still a greater witness to prove that he 
is the Son of God. At his baptism, and on Mount 
Thabor, God the Father himself, by a voice from heaven, 
recognized him as his well-beloved Son, whom all were 
to hear. (Matt iii, 17; xvii, 5.) 

God the Father revealed also to St. Peter that Christ 
is the Son of God. When Christ asked the apdstles, 
" Who do you say that I am ? " Simon Peter answered, 
" Thou art Christ, the son of the living God." And Je&us 
said to him : u Blessed art thou, Simon, because flesh and 
blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is 
in heaven." (Matt, xvi, 1617.) 

But Christ had still stronger arguments to prove that 
he is the Redeemer and the Son of God, and equal to 
his Father in all things. He confirmed his doctrine by 
many miracles. Hence Christ said to those who doubted 
his word : " If you will not believe me (my word), 
believe my works, that you may know and believe that 
the Father is in me, and I in the Father." (John x, 38.) 
The miracles by which Jesus Christ proved that he is 
God and the promised Redeemer, are clear, palpable, 
many in number, and of varioujs kinds. Heaven and 
earth obeyed his voice. He restored sight to the blind, 
hearing to the deaf, and speech to the dumb. A dumb 
man, possessed by the devil, is presented to him. By a 


mere act of his will, Christ casts out the devil, and the 
dumb man speaks. There is no disease that he does not 
cure, no evil that he does not remedy. The lepers are 
made clean, the lame walk, the dead arise at his touch or 
bidding : " Young man, arise !" said he to the widow s son, 
and the young man was restored to life. u Lazarus, come 
forth !" he cried out, and Lazarus, dead for some days, 
arose from the grave. By his will, water is changed into 
wine, at the wedding-feast in Cana ; the winds and waves 
become calm ; the devils leave the persons they possessed j 
a few loaves of bread are multiplied so as to feed five thou 
sand persons, and fill twelve baskets with the fragments 
which remained. Whilst he was hanging on the cross, 
the sun acknowledged him for its Lord and Creator, by 
withholding its light, and the whole world was enveloped in 
great darkness j the rocks, by rending asunder j the whole 
earth, by shaking death, by letting many persons who had 
been dead, leave their graves alive, and appear to their 
friends in Jerusalem ; the centurion and his soldiers, by 
exclaiming, "Indeed this was the Son of God." (Matt, 
xxvii, 54.) 

Christ, by his own power, rose from the dead, asce nded 
into heaven, whence he wrought many miracles through 
his apostles and the martyrs, teaching and professing 
their faith in his divinity. One of these miracles is most 
remarkable. It happened in Africa, in 484, and is attested 
by most reliable eye-witnesses : Hurich, king of the 
Arian vandals, most cruelly persecuted those who believed 
in the divinity of Jesus Christ: he had the tongues of 
the Christians of Tipasa cut out ; yet they spoke without 
tongues as distinctly and fluently as before, and proclaimed 
everywhere that Jesus Christ is true God, and equal to the 


Father. About sixty of these Christians fled to Constan 
tinople, where all the inhabitants saw them, and heard 
them speak daily for many years. 

But Christ proved himself to be the Messiah and the 
Son of God, not alone by stupendous miracles. He also 
proved the truth of his assertions by foretelling such 
things as God alone can know ; for instance : his betrayal 
by Judas, and his denial by Peter f the manner of his 
death ; his resurrection from the dead ; his ascension into 
heaven, and the spreading of his doctrine over the whole 
earth. One of the most striking prophecies of Christ 
which we see accomplished is this : Jesus Christ foretold 
that the temple of Jerusalem would be so totally de 
stroyed, that not even one stone should be left on another. 
Julian the Apostate, in order to fix on Jesus Christ the 
brand of imposture, and thus to bring the Christian 
religion into disrepute, formed the project of rebuilding 
the Jewish temple, which, if he could have carried out, 
would have sufficiently answered his wicked design. He 
accordingly commanded the Jews to repair to Jerusalem, 
to rebuild their ancient temple, and reestablish their 
ancient worship. The news that the temple was to be 
rebuilt, was no sooner spread abroad than contributions 
came in from all hands. The Jewish women stript them 
selves of their most costly ornaments, to contribute toward 
the expense of the building: they even helped to dig the 
ground, and carry out the rubbish in their aprons and the 
skirts of their gowns. It is also told that the Jews 
appointed some pickaxes, spades, and baskets to be made 
of silver, for the honor of the work. The po wer of Julian, 
the exertions of the chief overseer, Alypius, the rage and 
insolence of the Jews and pagans, plunged the disciples 


of our Lord into the most profound grief. But the good 
bishop, St. Cyril, lately returned from exile, consoled them 
by telling them that the power of God would prostrate 
Julian s wicked design, that the desolation of the temple 
should last to the end, and that the Jews would not be 
able to put one stone upon another. The old foundations, 
and some ruins of the walls of the temple, were first 
removed. Then they began to dig the new foundation, 
on which work many thousands were employed. But 
what they had thrown up in the day, was, by repeated 
earthquakes, cast back again the night following into the 
trench. " And when Alypius the next day," says 
Ammianus Marcellinus, " earnestly pressed on the work, 
with the assistance of the governor of the province, there 
issued such hbrrible balls of fire out of the earth near the 
foundations, as rendered the place, from time to time, inac 
cessible to the scorched and blasted workmen. And the 
victorious element continuing in this manner, obstinately 
and resolutely bent, as it were, to drive them to a distance, 
Alypius thought proper to give over the enterprise." 
Besides the earthquakes and fiery eruptions, Christian 
writers make mention of storms, tempests, whirlwinds, 
lightning, crosses impressed on the bodies and garments 
of the assistants, and a flaming cross in the heavens, sur 
rounded with a luminous circle. The infidels attempted 
to wash out the shining crosses that were impressed on 
the bodies and garments of those assisting at the rebuild 
ing of the temple, and in which there was something that 
in art and elegance exceeded all painting and embroidery : 
but it was increased by the fiery eruption, which was 
frequently renewed, till it overcame the rashness of the 
most obdurate, for it continued to be repeated as often as 


the projectors ventured to renew their attempt. Socrates 
tells us that at sight of the miracles the Jews at first cried 
out that Christ is God, yet returned home as hardened 
as ever. St. Gregory Nazianzen says that many Gentiles 
were converted, and became Christians. 

Christ s doctrine having been confirmed by miracles 
and prophecies, and accompanied by a sinless life and by 
works of love and mercy (Matt, iv, 23 ; Acts x, 38,) 
was received as the teaching of God the Father himself 
by those whose hearts were well disposed toward so holy 
a doctrine. Hence the people exclaimed that Christ 
taught as one having authority, and not as their Scribes 
and Pharisees. (Matt, vii, 28.) 

3. Whom did Christ appoint to teach his doctrine to all 
nations ? 

Christ appointed the apostles and their lawful successors 
to teach all nations. 

It was the will of the heavenly Father that no one 
should be saved unless through Christ, his well-beldved 
Son ; that is, through faith in his d6ctrine, through hope 
in his merits, through clmrity toward God and all men, 
through the sacraments and prayer, as means of grace, 
and through obedience to his .orders : "I am the way, 
and the truth, and the life," says Jesus. " No one cometh 
to the Father, but by me." (John xiv, 6.) But Christ did 
not wish to live forever in the flesh, in this world, to 
teach and sanctify all nations. So, from among his 
followers, he chose twelve men to be the witnesses of what 
he taught and did. As he intended to send them to teach 
all nations in his name, he called them apostles, which 
means messengers, giving them to understand that he had 
chosen them to preach to all nations what they had seen of, 


and heard from him. Therefore, he said to them : u You 
shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea 
and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth." 
(Acts i, 8.) 

4* How were the apostles prepared for their divine 
mission ? 

1 , Christ himself instructed them in his doctrine ; 2, lie 
promised them the Holy Ghost ; 3, he gave them his own 


One day the Lord said to the prophet Jeremias: 
" Before thou wast born, I knew thee and sanctified thee, 
and made thee a prophet unto the nations." Jeremias, 
thinking that he was not able to preach to the nations, 
said : " Ah, ah, ah, Lord ! behold I cannot speak, for I 
am a child." To this excuse the Lord replied : " Say 
not, I am a child j for thou shalt go to all that I shall send 
thee, and whatsoever I shall command thee, thou shalt 
speak. Be not afraid at their presence, for I am with 
thee to deliver thee." And then the Lord put forth his 
hand, and touched the mouth of the pro phet, and said to 
him : " Behold I have given my words in thy mouth. 
Lo ! I have set thee this day over the nations, and over 
kingdoms, to root up, and to pull down, and to waste, and 
to destroy, and to build, and to plant." (Jer. i, 5-10.) 
By these words of the Lord the prophet Jeremias felt 
encouraged to go and preach to the nations. The apos 
tles had to be encouraged in the same manner. Like 
Jeremias, they could say to our Lord, when he wished them 
to go on this hitherto unheard-of and seemingly impossible 
mission : <* Ah, ah, ah, Lord ! behold, we cannot speak ; " 
we are ignorant men, children as it were, having no 
courage for so awful an office. But Christ consoled and 


encouraged them. After he had taught them for three 
years and a half, and during forty days after his resurr^c- 
tion, he could say to them, as was said to Jeremias, viz. : 
" Behold, I have given my words in thy mouth." "Behold," 
said Jesus to the apostles, " all things whatsoever I have 
heard of my Father, I have made known to you." 
(John xv, 15.) But you may tell me: " We are but a 
few poor fishermen, without human learning, without 
wealth, without worldly influence or natural eloquence, 
without any human qualification whatever for so vast an 
undertaking ; we have but our foolishness to confound the 
learning and philosophy of Greece and Rome, to silence 
oracles, to destroy the impure orgies of Paganism, to 
reclaim all mankind from evil ways, and to plant, on 
the ruins of a gigantic idolatry which possesses the world, 
the bright, the glorious, the unsullied banner of the cross. 
Who will listen to us when we preach to a wicked world 
thy doctrine, which is so contrary to all human passions 
and evil inclinations ? How can we, a handful of poor, 
ignorant, unarmed men, withstand and overcome a hostile 
world ? And how shall we be able to remember and 
rightly comprehend all that thou hast taught us, forgetful 
and slow of understanding as we are ? " But I say to you, 
fear not, for, " the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, whom the 
Father will send in my name, he will teach you all 
things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I 
shall have said to you." (John xiv, 26.) He is the " Com 
forter ; " he will give you such courage and wisdom, and 
knowledge and strength, as no power on earth can cope 
with. I send you clothed with the same powers with 
which I myself have been invested by my heavenly Faiher : 
ii All power is given to me in heaven and on earth. As the 


Father hath sent me, I also send you." (Matt, xxviii, 18 ; 
John xx, 21.) 
5. What were those powers of Christ ? 

1, His power as teacher ; 2, his power as priest ; 3, his 
power as ruler. 

We find, in the thirty-first chapter of Deuteronomy, that, 
when Moses had written the law of God in a book, he 
gave this book to the Levites, and commanded them to 
place it in the tabernacle, beside the ark of the covenant, 
as a testimony against Israel. On another occasion, when 
many of the Israelites rebelled against Moses and Aaron, 
and wished to claim a share in the priestly authority, God 
ordered twelve rods, each bearing the name of one of the 
tribes, to be placed in the tabernacle, together with the 
rod of Aaron. On the next morning it was found that 
Aaron s rod alo ne bloomed, and brought forth fruit. This 
miraculous rod was the emblem of authority. It was a 
witness that God had confided the spiritual rule to Aaron 
and his lawful successors, and to them alone. This rod 
was also placed in the tabernacle beside the law of God. 
On another occasion, God ordered a vessel filled with 
manna, that miraculous bread from heaven, to be placed 
beside the law of God and the rod of Aaron. 

These three things, the book, the rod, and the manna, 
signify the three distinct powers which God conferred 
upon the priests of the Old Law. The book signifies the 
office of teacher ; the rod signifies the office of visible 
head or ruler; and the manna signifies the grace of God, 
which was given to the Israelites through the ministry of 
the priests. The three offices, then, of teacher, of priest, 
and of ruler, or visible head, existed in the Jewish Church 
of the Old Law, when our divine Saviour came on earth. 


Our divine Redeemer confirmed and consecrated these 
three offices, by uniting them in his own divine person. 
He was a teacher, he was a priest, and he was a king. 
He was the teacher of nations, the light of the world. 
He taught all men what they must believe, what they 
must do, and what means they must use to obtain and 
preserve the grace of God. He was a priest forever, 
according to the order of Melchisedech. He was, as the 
prophet foretold, and as he himself declared, the king 
of an everlasting kingdom. As teacher, he taught us 
that to know and do the will of his heavenly F/ther 
was the only way to heaven ; as priest, he sacrificed his 
life upon the cross, and thereby obtained for men the 
graces necessary for salvation 5 as ruler, or king of an 
everlasting kingdom, he declared that all men had to 
believe and to do w r hat he taught them, if they would be 

6, , What did Christ call the apostles and those who 
believed in him ? 

He called them his Church, of which he is the invisible 

Our dear Saviour sowed the seeds of his divine doctrine, 
and watered them with his blood. But he himself made 
very few converts. He left the conversion of the world 

9 f / 

mainly to his apostles and to their lawful successors. 
Nevertheless, he had made a sufficient number of converts 
to form of them a well-organized society, which he callec 
his Church, or his kingdom on earth. This society con 
sisted of the immaculate Virgin Mary, twelve apostles 
seventy-two disciples, and some other followers of our 
divine Saviour, with Christ himself as its chief teacher, 
pontiff and ruler : for, " God the Father/ 7 says St. Paul, 


"hath made Christ the head over all the Church." (Eph. 
i, 1722.) But when the time drew near for our Saviour 
to return to heaven, he appointed one of his apostles to 
take his place as visible head arid chief pastor on earth, 
he himself continuing to be the invisible head of the 
Church in heaven. 

The community of the apostles and the Other true 
believers formed the visible body of the Church of Christ j 
and a visible body or society must have a visible head. 
It is in the nature of things that this should be so : there 
never has been, and never can be, a living, active, organ 
ized body without a living head. Reason and experience 
teach us that there can be no order, no law, no civilization, 
without some final authority which, of its very nature, must 
be supreme ; in other words, supreme authority is the 
foundation of order and law. We see the necessity of such 
authority whithersoever we turn. Every ship must have 
its ca ptain. Every railroad engine must have its engineer. 
In every society we find a president. In every govern 
ment there must be a president or a monarch. Even 
amongst the brute beasts or the tiny insects we find the 
principle of authority in practice. We find, for instance, 
that ants and bees have their queen or supreme ruler. 
Now the same God who gave so wonderful an order 
to nature, the same God who planted in our reason 
the principle of order and authority, must observe this 
magnificent and necessary law in the greatest of his 
works, the establishment of his Church, or kingdom 
on earth. Nothing, therefore, ca,n be more natural than 
to find that our Lord Jesus Christ appointed one of 
his apostles to be the visible head and chief pastor of \\is 


. 7. Whom did Christ appoint to take his place ? 

Christ appointed the apostle St. Peter to be the visible 
head and chief pastor of his Church. 

Christ compared his Church to a house, and made St, 
Peter its foundation, saying : " Thou art Peter (that is, a 
rock), and upon this rock I will build my Church." 
(Matt, xvi, 18.) He compared his Church to a flock, and 
made Peter its chief shepherd, saying : " Feed my lambs, 
feed my sheep." (John xxi, 15-17.) By lambs, Christ 
means the faithful ; and by sheep, the pastors. To Pester, 
therefore, Christ intrusted both the pastors and the faith 
ful, when he said, " Feed my lambs, feed my sheep." 
Peter, being made the head and chief pastor of the Church, 
received also from Christ greater powers than the rest of 
the apostles. To him he gave the poVer to make laws for 
all the pastors, as well as for all the faithful, and to enforce 
those laws, saying : " I will give to thee the keys of the 
kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind 
upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven j and what 
soever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also 
in heaven." (Matt, xvi, 18-19.) There is no possibility of 
mistaking or explaining away the plain, emphatic words 
of Christ to Peter by which he invested him with the 
prerogatives of the head of his Church. 

By virtue of this supreme power, Peter called the dis 
ciples together, and presided over the council which they 
held in Jerusalem to elect a new apostle in the place of 
Judas : and the council readily recognized this power. It 
was Peter who first preached Jesus crucified, and converted, 
by his sermon, three thousand persons. It was Peter who 
first declared that the Gentiles were to be admitted to 
baptism, according to a revelation wWeh h had received. 


Peter, too, first decided, in an assembly of the apostles at 
Jerusalem, that the Christians were no longer to be sub 
jected to the Jewish law of circumcision ; and the assembly 
bowed to his decision. From all this we clearly see that 
Peter was the head of the Church ; because on all those 
occasions he exercised the office of Supreme Head of the 
Church of Christ, and no man questioned it. 

The apostles and their lawful successors acknow 
ledged Peter as the head of the Church. When the 
evangelists give the names of the apostles, they always 
name Peter first : for instance, when St. Matthew gives us 
the names of the apostles, he says : " The names of the 
twelve apostles : The first, Simon who is called P^ter." 
(Matt, x, 2.) Now it cannot be said that Peter was always 
named first, either because he was the eldest, or because 
he had been called to the apostleship before the rest, for 
St Andrew was both older than. Peter, and had become a 
disciple of Christ before him. The true reason, therefore, 
why the evangelists always name Peter first, is because 
he held the first or highest office in the Church. Hence 
the Fathers of the General Council of Ephesus, A. D. 
431, say: "It is known in all ages that Peter was the 
prince and the head of the apostles, the foundation-stone 
of the Catholic Church. This is a fact which no one 

8. What power had the other apostles as teachers? 

They had the i power to preach Christ s doctrine, and to 
be judges in matters of faith and morals. 

When Christ said to his apostles, " Go and teach all na 
tions, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have 
commanded you" (Matt, xxviii, 19-20), he empowered 
the apostles to spread abroad, explain, and preserve his 


holy doctrines, pure and uncorrupted, and to condemn and 
reject all false teachings j he empowered them to inveigh 
against crime and to encourage virtue j to trace out to 
every one his individual duties, to monarchs as well as to 
their subjects, to the learned and to the ignorant, to the 
rich and to the poor, to the just and to the sinner ; he 
empowered them to offer to all men instruction, counsel, and 
hope f to encourage the good, to exhort the weak, to con 
vert the sinner, to speak of the sweet consolations of the just, 
and to describe the fearful state of the impenitent sinner ; 
he empowered them to condemn and reject all false prin 
ciples, impious writings of every description, wicked 
societies. In a word, Christ empowered the apostles to 
proclaim his doctrine, everywhere, one and the same j to 
defend his rights on earth against every enemy ; to resist 
with all their might the passions and evil tendencies of 
nations, communities, or individuals ; to make constitu 
tions and decrees conducive to the^ preservation of faith 
and morals, and even to proscribe such opinions as 
approach, more or less closely, open heresy. 

9. What power had the apostles as priests? 

They had the, power to offer up the holy sacrifice of the 
Mass, to administer the sacraments, and to perform other 
priestly duties. 

When Christ said to the apostles at the last supper, 
"Do this (that is, offer the unbloody sacrifice which I 
have offered) for a commemoration of me " (Luke xxii, 
19), he empowered them to change bread and wine into his 
bo dy and blood by the words of consecration, and offer 
him to the heavenly Father, under the appearance of 
bread and wine. Thus Christ gave to the apostles power 
over his own sacred body, power over himself. The 


eternal, omnipotent God, in whose presence the pillars of 
heaven tremble ; that God before whom the earth, and all 
that dwell thereon, before whom the boundless universe, 
with all its countless suns and planets, before whom all 
created things are but as a drop of water, as a grain of 
sand, as if they were not, that God of infinite majesty 
and glory made himself subject to the apostles when he 
said, li Do this for a commemoration of me !" The mon- 
archs of the earth have great power, their commands are 
obeyed, their very name is respected and feared, thou 
sands and thousands of their fellow-men are subject to 
them 5 but the priestly power of the apostles is far 
greater. Great was the power of Adam when he came 
forth from the hands of God, in all the majesty of justice 
and innocence. He was the king of creation, and all the 
creatures of the earth obeyed him. Great was the power 
of Moses when, by a single word, he divided the waters 
of the Red Sea,, and led a vast multitude, dry-shod, through 
the surging billows. Great was the power of Elias, who 
caused fire to rain from heaven upon the heads of his 
enemies. Great was the power of Joshua, w r ho, in the 
heat of battle, raised his hands to heaven, and com 
manded the sun : " Move not, O sun ! " he cried, 
" and thou, moon ! stand still ! " and the sun and the 
moon obeyed his voice. They stood still in the midst 
of the heavens, for the space of an entire day. Great, 
indeed, was the power which God thus gave to man, 
but the power given by Christ to the apostles was infinitely 
greater. Whenever they said Mass, they held in their 
hands, after the words of consecration, Jesus Christ, their 
Lord and God, to receive him, and to give him to all those 
who wished to receive him in holy communion. This 


power which Christ gave to his apostles, surpasses far 
.even the power of creation. By creation, God produces 
the substance of bread out of nothing, by his word ; but 
by the words of the apostles, in consecration, the sub 
stance of bread and wine is changed into the most sa cred 
body and blood of Christ. Ah! when we see tlie apoities, 
weak, sinful men as they were, gifted with a power which 
angels could not and did not dare to claim ; when we see 
them exercising power over God himself, possessing power 
to carry him, and give him to whom they willed, we can 
not help exclaiming, in amazement : " wondrous miracle ! 
marvellous power ! " A greater power than this God 
could not give it was his own infinite power. 

But, as Christ could not wish to enter, by holy com 
munion, into souls as long as they were in mortal sin, the 
great power of the apostles to change bread and wine into 
Christ s body and blood would have been of little avail to 
the greater part of mankind, had not Christ given to the 
apostles another power, viz.: that of forgiving sins by 
means of the sacraments, especially by the sacraments of 
baptism and penance. Therefore he said to the apoitles : 
" Go, baptize mankind in the name of the Father, and of 
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost ; " " Whose sins you shalt 
forgive, they are forgiven them." (Matt, xxviii, 19 5 John 
xx, 23.) This power was given to the apostles to free men 
from their sins, and prepare them for the union with Christ 
in holy communion. This power, too, surpasses that of 
any created being, either in heaven or on earth. An 
earthly judge has great power, yet he can only declare 
one innocent who has been falsely accused j but the apostles 
received power to restore to innocence even those who 
were guilty. 


The kings of the earth are powerful, yet their po wer 
extends only to a few countries, while the power of 
the apostles embraced the whole earth. Their po wer 
reached to the highest heavens, it penetrated even to the 
ve ry gates of hell. The treasures of kings are silver 
and gold, perishable metals j but the treasures of the 
apostles were the imperishable merits and graces of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. Kings have power over the 
bodies of men only ; but the apostles had power over men s 
souls. Kings have po wer over their subjects only ; but 
kings and emperors themselves were subject to the 
apostles, because from them they had to expect not oiily 
the light of the true faith, but also the pa rdon of their 
sins, the grace of God. Kings have po wer to o pen and 
to close the prison-gates on earth ; but the apostles had 
power to open and to close the jgates of heaven and of 
hell. The influence of their power was felt in heaven, 
in giving to it the elect ; it was felt in hell, in snatching 
from it victims ; it was felt in purgatory, in consoling 
efficaciously its great sufferers. 

But Christ said to his apostles : u To me is given all 
po wer in heaven and on earth. As the Father has sent 
me, I also send you." He who bestows all power, excludes 
none. Christ, therefore, gave to his apostles the power 
to cast out devils from possessed persons, and to prevent 
the evil spirits from hurting men in their bodies or 
property: "And calling together the twelve apostles, 7 
says St. Luke (ix, 1), " he gave them power and authority 
over all devils." And the same evangelist tells us, also, 
that the disciples cast out the devils from possessed 
persons, at which power they were greatly amazed, and 
said : " Lord, the devils also are subject to us in thy 


name." (Luke x, 17.) Christ also gave to his apostles 
power to bless or consecrate things for the divine service, or 
for the pious use of the faithful : as altars, chalices, vest 
ments, churches, graveyards, h6ly-water, oil, bread, -wine, 
palms. By the sin of Adam the curse of God had come 
upon all creatures : u Cursed is the earth in thy work," 
said God to Adam. (Gen. iii, 17.) But Christ came to 
take aw^y not only man s sin, but also the curse which 
had fallen upon all other creatures of the earth. And as 
Christ gave power to the apostles to drive out sin from 
the souls of men, by their applying to them the merits of his 
redemption through the sacraments, in like manner he 
gave them power to free creatures from the curse of sin, 
by their applying to them the blessing of redemption, 
through prayers and blessings, in order to make them work 
good to those that love God ; for u every creature," 
says St. Paul, "is sanctified by the word and prayer." 
(1 Tim. iv, 5.) 

St. Matthew tells us, in his po spel (vii, 29), that our 
Saviour was teaching the people as one having power 
and authority, and not as their Scribes and Pharisees. 
Christ, who chose the apostles to take his place as teacher 
and priest, wished also that, like him, they should teach 
with power and authority. To increase their authority, 
he gave them another power: -the power of ruling and 
governing those who believed in him, and were baptized. 

10. What power had the apostles as rulers or pastors 
of the Church? 

It S 

They had the power of governing the faithful, under the 
supreme authority of St. Peter. 

Christ said to his apostles : u Amen I say to you, 
whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also 


in heaven j and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, 
shall be loosed also in heaven." (Matt, xviii, 18.) 

In these words Christ gave power to his apostles to 
govern his Church, to regulate the divine service and the 
manner of administering the sacraments, to govern nations, 
kings and peoples, according to his unchangeable doctrine 5 
to make laws for them, and to enforce those laws, by 
refusing the sacraments to those who transgress them, or 
by expelling such transgressors from her society, or by 
imposing upon them such works of penance as were 
deemed proper for their own spiritual good, and that of 

Gifted with this threefold po wer of Christ, the apostles 
were greater than the patriarchs, greater, more exalted, 
than the prophets. A widow of Sarephta fed the prophet 
Elias for some time. As a reward for her charity, the 
prophet obtained for her the miracle that her pot of meal 
wasted not, and her cruse of oil was not diminished, and 
thus sustained that family in a miraculous manner. The 
apostles did more : they fed not merely one family, but 
the nations of th,e world ; they gave not mere material 
bread, but the living bread from heaven : the body and 
blood of Jesus Christ ; they strengthened the souls of 
men with the oil of grace, which they administered to 
them in the holy sacraments. 

Elias raised, moreover, the widow s son to life ; but 
the apostles did more : they raised to life the dead souls of 
hundreds and thousands. In the sacraments of baptism 
and penance, they raised to the life of grace the souls of 
those that were dead in mortal sin. 

Elias caused fire to rain from heaven upon the heads of 
the wicked. The apostles caused not simply material fire 



to fall from heaven, they did far more : they caused the 
fire of divine love to fall upon the cold hearts of sinners, 
and moved them to contrition j they inflamed them to a 
new and perfect life. 

Again, the apostles were greater than the prophets. 
The prophets beheld the Redeemer only from af^r, in the 
dim future. The apostles beheld him present before their 
eyes. They touched the long-wished-for Redeemer with 
their hands ; they offered him up to the heavenly Father f 
they carried him through the streets j they even fed on 
the precious blood of this Holy One ; they received him 
into their hearts, and united themselves most intimately 
with him in holy communion. 

The prophets foretold that, when the fulness of time 
should come, God would write his laws, not on stone, but 
on men s hearts ; he would govern men, not by the law 
of servile fear, but by the sweet bonds of holy love j that 
God himself would dwell in them, and direct them by his 
grace. Now, this fulness of time for which the prophets 
sighed, came with Jesus Christ. He gave his grace, his 
own divine life, to man, and he gave it abundantly ; and, 
as the ministers of that grace, he chose, not the prophets, 
not his angels, but his apostles. 

The apostles had the patriarchal dignity of Abraham. 
Abraham is called the Father of the Faithful. The apo 7 s- 
tles were, in reality, the fathers of the faithful, for they 
made them the children of God, by preaching the Gospel, 
and especially by administering to them the holy sacra 
ments. They stood at the helm of the Church, the ark 
of salvation, like Noe. They were consecrated forever 
according to the order of Melchisedech. They were 
invested with a dignity far higher than that of Aaron. 


Aaron offered up only the blood of sheep and oxen, while 
the apostles offered up the blood of the Lamb of God, 
our Lord Jesus Christ. They had the authority of Moses. 
Mo ses led the people of God, through the desert, to the 
promised land 5 the apostles led the children of God, 
through the desert of this life, to the true land of promise, 
their home in heaven. 

Great, unutterably great, indeed, were the powers of the 
apostles. But these powers were not bestowed upon them 
for their own private benefit. They received them for 
the spiritual welfare of the people. And as Christ came 
to save and sanctify all men, it was his will that his power 
as teacher, as priest, and as ruler, should continue as long 
as his Church lasts. 

11. How long will the Church last ? 

The Church will last to the end of the world. 

From the very beginning the Church of Christ was made 
up of two classes of men : of teachers and hearers, of 
priests and people, of rulers and subjects. Thus estab 
lished, it will continue to the end of time, according to 
Christ s promise, " The gates of hell shall not prevail 
against my Church." Christ calls his Church his kingdom 
on earth, which he has acquired at the cost of so much 
toil, and la bor, and suffering ; it is that kingdom which he 
purchased with his own blood, and which he loves more 
than his own life. It would be blasphemous to think 
that any power should ever be able to tear that kingdom 
from Christ. The Church is the sheepfold of Jesus Christ ; 
he is her divine shepherd. No hellish wolf will ever be 
able to take entire possession of this sheepfold. The 
Church is the household of which Christ is the master. 
No power will succeed in destroying that household. The 


Church, says St. Paul, is the body of Christ. Christ, 
then, is inseparably united with his Church. Sooner shall 
the sun refuse its light ; sooner shall the stars fall from the 
firmament ; sooner shall the precious blood of Christ lose 
its atoning power j sooner shall God cease to be God, than 
Christ cease to protect and defend his body, the Church. 
"Behold," says he to the apostles, U I am with you all 
days, even to the end of the world." (Matt, xxviii, 20.) 

12. How can Christ be with his apostles to the end of 
the world, since the apostles died ? 

Christ is with his apostles to the end of the world, in 
their laivful successors. 

It is fitting to remember again what Christ said to his 
apostles : " All power is given to me in heaven and on 
earth." Had our Saviour, when he uttered these words, 
considered himself God, he could not have said, " is 
given to me," because, as God, he had, from the beginning, 
as much power as his heavenly Father. He spoke as man, 
then, when he said, u All power is given to me," and as 
man he could and did receive all power from his heavenly 
Father ; that is, his power as teacher, as priest, and as ruler, 
together with the power of conferring, as man, this three 
fold power on other men on his apostles. He tells his 
apostles: "As the Father hath sent me, I also send 
you ;" that is, as the Father hath sent me to confer uptm 
you the powers I have received from him, I also send 
you to confer upon others the powers you have received 
from me, and they are to confer again upon others the 
powers they received from you, and so on to the end of 
time. I shall die, it is true, but the powers received 
from my Father will not die or cease with my death ; they 
will continue in you. You, too, will die, but with youi 


death the powers received from me will not cease j they 
will continue in those upon whom you confer them, and 
so on to the end of the world. It is thus that I am with 
you, in your successors, to the last day of the world. I 
will be, to the end of the world, with you, Peter, as head 
of my Church, in your successor, and also with you, my 
other apostles, in those who take your place. 

13. Who is the lawful successor of St. Peter* 

The Pope, or the Bishop of Home. (Council of Flor 
ence, 1438.) 

One thousand eight hundred and forty odd years ago, 
a poor, meanly-clad wanderer went to the capital of the 
world, the wealthy, magnificent city of Rome. He 
passes its gates, and threads his way, unobserved, through 
populous streets. On every side he beholds splendid 
palaces, raised at the expense of down-trodden nation 
alities ; he beholds stately temples, dedicated to as many 
false gods as nations were represented in Rome ; he 
beholds public baths and amphitheatres, devoted to 
pleasure and to cruelty ; he beholds statues, monuments, 
and triumphal arches, raised to the memory of blood 
thirsty tyrants. He passes warriors and senators, beg 
gars and cripples, effeminate men and dissolute women, 
gladiators and slaves, merchants and statesmen, ^orators 
and philosophers all classes, all ranks, all conditions of 
men, of every language and color under the sun. Every 
where he sees a ma ddenin^ race for pleasure, Everywhere 
the impress of luxury, everywhere the full growth of 
crime, side by side with indescribable suffering, diabolical 
cruelty and barbarity. 

And this poor, meanly-clad wanderer was St. Pester, 
the head of Christ s Church. How the noble heart of 


the poor fisherman of Galilee must have bled when he 
observed the empire of Satan so supreme ; when he wit 
nessed the shocking licentiousness of the temple and the 
homestead ; when he saw the fearful degradation of wdman, 
groaning under the load of her own infamy ; when he saw 
the heart-rending inhumanity which slew the innocent 
babes, and threw them into the Tiber ; when he saw how 
prisoners of war, slaves, and soldiers, were trained for 
bloody fights, and entered the arena of the amphitheatre, 
and strove whole days to slay one another, for the special 
entertainment of the Roman people ! 

Here, then, was to be the scene of his labors. Into 
this foul mass, into this carcass of a rolten society, St. 
Peter was come to infuse a new life, to lay the foundation 
of a new Rome, a Rome, which, instead of paganism 
and depravity, should convey the truth and the blessing 
of Christian virtues to the farthermost ends of the earth. 
When Peter, the first pope, came to Rome, that city was 
the condensation of all the idolatry, all the oppression, all 
the injustice, all the immoralities, of the world, for the 
world was centred in Rome. Peter laid his hand to the 
plough, and never once looked back. For twenty-five 
years he struggled, and succeeded in establishing, in the 
very midst of this centre of every excess of which the 
human mind and the human heart could be guilty, a 
congregation of Christians to whom St. Paul could address 
an epikle, and state in it that the fair fame of their faith 
had already spread over the whole world: "I give 
thanks to my God, through Jesus Christ, for you all, 
because your faith is spoken of in the whole world." 
(Rom. i, 8 j xvi, 19.) 

The foundation of a new world had been laid by St. 


Peter, the first pope. He established his see in Rome; 
there he suffered martyrdom for the faith. 

That St. Peter resided and died at Rome is a fact 
which is attested by unvarying and universal testimony, 
a fact which has been transmitted by oral tradition, and 
is recorded in the writings of the Fathers, St. Cyprian, 
Tertiillian, St. Ambrose, St. Athanasius, and others ; it is 
recorded in the writings of historians, St. Irenseus, St. 
Epiphanius, Eusebius, St. Isidore ; it is recorded in the 
writings of sovereign pontiffs, and of the Councils of 
Ephesus, of Chalcedon, of Lyons, of Florence. This 
fact is also commemorated every year by festivals, such 
as that of the Chair of St. Peter at Rome ; of the Chains 

worn by St. Peter at Rome. It is a fact of which we are 

. f . x . 

continually reminded by multitudes of the faithful, who 

are constantly seen around the tomb of the Prince of the 
Apostles. This fact is also evident from the preeminence 
which the See of Rome has always held over all other 
churches. Peter, then, haVing ultimately fixed his abode 
and his see at Rome, Rome was called, by the Fathers of 
the Church, the See of Peter ; and the Bishop of Rome, 
the Successor of Peter j and the supremacy of the Roman 
Pontiff, the Supremacy of Peter ; and communion with 
Rome, Communion with Peter. u Rome has become the 
capital of Christendom," says St. Leo the Great, " be 
cause it was there that St. Pe ter established his see." (Serm. 
in Nativ. Apost.) Since then, pope has succeeded pope, in 
spite of persecution and death, in spite of the opposition 
of pa gan philosophy and of pagan intrigue, of pagan hate 
and of pagan enmity. Two hundred and fifty-five popes, 
till now, have succeeded one another in the See of St. Peter. 
Of these, seventy-seven are honored by the Church as 


saints, and twenty-seven have, in imitation of St. Peter, 
suffered martyrdom for their faith. It was from the centre 
of Rome that the popes governed the Church through the 
lawful successors of the apostles. Hence the Council of 
Florence defined that " the Roman Pontiff is the true 
Vicar of Christ, and the head of the whole Church, 
and the father and teacher of all Christians ; and that to 
him, in blessed Peter ; was delivered, by our Lord Jesus 
Christ, the full power of feeding, ruling, and governing the 
whole Church." (Acts of the Seventeenth General Council 
of Florence, A. D. 1438 : L abbe, vol. xviii, p. 526.) And 
with the approval of the Second Council of Lyons, the 
Greeks professed u that the Holy Ro man Church enjoys su 
preme and full primacy and preeminence over the whole 
Catholic Church, which it truly and humbly acknowledges 
that it has received, with the plenitude of power from 
our Lord himself, in the presence of blessed Peter, prince 

or head of the apostles, whose successor the Roman Pdn- 

/ / f 

tiff is." (Acts of the Fourteenth General Council Second 

of Lyons A. D. 1274; Labbe, vol. xiv, p. 512.) "If 
then," says the Vatican Council, li any shall say that 
the Roman Pontiff has the office merely of inspection or 
direction, and not full and supreme power of jurisdiction 
over the Universal Church, not only in things which 
belong to faith and morals, but also in those which relate 
to the discipline and government of the Church, spread 
throughout the world ; or assert that he possesses merely 
the principal part, and not all the fulness, of this supreme 
power ; or that this power which he enjoys is not ordinary 
and immediate, both over each and all the churches, and 
over each and all the pastors and the faithful, let him be 
anathema." (Cap. III.) 


14. Who are the lawful successors of the other apostles ? 

The lawful successors of the other apostles are the bishops 
of the Roman Catholic Church, who are in communion ivith 
the pope. 

God the Father sent Christ, his well-beloved Son, to 
teach his holy will to all mankind. Christ, again, sent 
his apostles to take his place and continue his work. In 
like manner, the apostles chose others, ordained them 
bishops and priests, to continue their work. St. Paul, for 

instance, ordained Titus, and left him in Crete, to ordain 
/ / / 

other bishops and priests to succeed him : u I have left thee 

in Crete," he writes to Titus, "in order that thou shouldst 
set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldst 
ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee."" 
(Titus i, 5.) Those bishops who were ordained by the 
apostles, ordained again other bishops and priests, wher 
ever they were needed ) and these again, in their turn, 
ordained others, and so on, in regular succession, down to 
our own time. Thus every one of our own bishops and 
priests is the direct descendant of one or other of the 
apostles. Therefore, every Catholic bishop can, with 
truth, say to his flock : u I was consecrated bishop by 
such a Catholic bishop j he himself was consecrated by 
such another Catholic bishop, and so on, in a direct line, 
which reaches to the apostles, themselves. It is thus, 
through an unbroken line of bishops, that I hold from the 
apostles their own power to preach to you the word of 
God, to administer to you the sacraments, and to exercise 
the spiritual government over your souls. With St. Paul, 
therefore, I can say to you : For Christ we are ambassa 
dors, God, as it were, exhorting by us. " (2 Cor. v, 20.) 
Indeed, if the Church is the spouse of Christ, the popes, 



"bishops, and priests are her guardians. If the Church is 
an army ranged in battle, the popes, the bishops, and the 
priests are her generals. If the Church is a vessel, steer 
ing across the storms of persecutions, the popes, bishops, 
and priests are her pilots. If the Church is the mystic 
body of Christ, and if the faithful are its members, the 
popes, the bishops, and priests are the principal members 
of this body. By their eyes, Jesus Christ watches over 
his flock ; by their feet, he carries to every nation the 
Gospel of peace j by their hearts, he diffuses everywhere 
the life of that divine charity without which all is dead. 
It the Church is the people of acquisition, bought at a 
great price, the popes, the bishops, and the priests are the 
leaders, the teachers, the princes, of that chosen genera 
tion. If the Church is that sacred edifice, built up by the 
Divine wisdom itself for the children of God, the popes, 
the bishops, and the priests are the administrators of this 
palace ; they are the columns of the Church, upon which the 
whole world rests. God the Father has created the world 
without the popes, the bishops, and the priests, but it is (inly 
through them that he saves it. God the Son redeemed 
the world without the popes, the bishops, and the priests, 
but it is only by them that he applies his blood to 
the souls of men, and secures the fruits of his copious 

/ / / 7 

Redemption. And you can hardly name a single blessing 
of the Holy Ghost, without beholding by the side of that 
blessing the priest as the instrument through which that 
Divine Spirit communicates his blessing. Yes j if St. 
Bernard is right in saying that all comes to us through 
Mary, we are also right in saving that all comes to the 
people through the popes, the bishops, and the priests, all 
happiness, all graces, all heavenly gifts. 


1, Were the aposiles to exercise their powers im 
mediately after they had received them ? 

No ; Christ commanded them to wait for the coming of 
the Holy Ghost. 

When a king levies soldiers to make war, he must have 
weapons wherewith to arm them. It would be utterly 
foolish to send them to fight without arms. It would be 
simply to sacrifice his men to no purpose, and to invite 
defeat. Surely God acts with, at least, equal wisdom : 
" He does not call," says St. Bernardine of Sienna, " with 
out giving, at the same time, to those whom he calls, all 
.that is necessary to accomplish the end for which he 
calls." (Serm. I, De St. Joseph.) Jesus Christ chose the 
apostles to continue his work on earth. Their duty was 
to teach his holy doctrine. In order to teach it well, it 
was necessary for them to understand it thoroughly, and 
to remember it all. But the apostles were at first men" 
without learning, most of them being poor fishermen when 
called by Christ. They were, naturally enough, full of 
the prejudices of their nation ; their ideas were altogether 
worldly. Christ had instructed them for three years, in 
public and in private. Sometimes he spoke to them in 
parables, at other times he addressed them in plain lan 
guage. But his parables were to them so many riddles, 
and his more open instructions they interpreted in a wrong 
sense. They scarcely knew for what end he had come on 


earth ; they did not as yet understand that the world was 
to be redeemed by his blood. Even on the day of his 
ascension, they were figuring to themselves the deliverance 
of their country from the yoke of the Romans ; and their 
thoughts were of seeing their Master seated, like one of 
the old Jewish kings, on the temporal throne of King 
David. Such was their ignorance, such were their ideas. 
Certainly, as they then were, they were not fit to be sent 
to preach Christ s doctrine to all nations, or, indeed, any 
doctrine at all. Moreover, the apostles were to take 
Christ s place, and continue his work as priests. Christ, as 

priest, offered his life on the cross for the salvation of 

/ / / 

mankind ; and his desire was that he himself should be 

offered by the apostles in the sacrifice of the Mass. To 
be fitted to take the place of Christ as priest, to repre 
sent him in his highest character in a worthy manner, 
it was necessary for the apostles to be like him in all 
things, willing, in imitation of their divine Master, to 
sacrifice, for the sake of his religion, all that was near and 
dear to them. It was necessary that they should be 
willing even to lay down their lives for the sake of the 
faith. In a word, it was necessary for them to be pos 
sessed of heroic virtues, for they were to go as lambs 
among a pack of wolves. If, at the ascension of our 
Lord, the apostles were not prepared to take Christ s place 
and continue his work as teachers, they were still less 
prepared to continue his work as priests. It is true they 
had been in the school of Jesus Christ for three years ; 
they had witnessed, day by day, his example of charity 
and meekness, his zeal for the salvation of souls, his spirit 
of self-sacrifice. Yet, for all that, the apostle? had made 
little progress in virtue. They often yielded to feelings 


of envy, and to many human weaknesses and imperfections. 
We find the two sons of Zebedee ambitious ; one wishing 
to sit on the right hand, and the other on the left, of Jesus 
Christ. On the very eve of Christ s crucifixion there 
arose among the apostles a dispute for the first place. 
Finally, the apostles were to be rulers of Christ s kingdom 
on earth, the holy Catholic Church. 

They were to announce not only to the subjects of the 
rulers of nations, but also to the rulers themselves, that 
they were bound to hear the Church like the humblest, 
and to submit their souls to her guidance, under pain of 
eternal banishment from the presence of God. Should 
they dare to command where it was their duty to obey, 
their mistake would be disastrous to themselves, because 
" there was no respect of persons with God." (Rom. ii, 
II.)- Such a religion could not be announced without 
being contradicted, hated, and even most cruelly perse 
cuted, especially by the monarchs of this world, who refuse 
to recognize any one superior to themselves. Poor apdstles, 
especially poor St. Peter, the head of the apostles ! At 
the voice of a servant-maid, Peter had denied his divine 
Master, and taken a solemn oath that he knew him not. 
And so fearful, so weak, so cowardly were the others that, 
when their Lord was seized in the garden, they ran awa y, 
and left him alone in the hands of his enemies. During 
his passion, not one of them stood up for his defence ; 
and whilst he was hanging on the cross, St. John alone 
had the courage to stand at the foot of that cross. ,They 
hid themselves, through fear of the Jews ; the slightest 
danger affrighted them j the least obstacle discouraged 
them. Such were the apostles, even on the day of Christ s 
ascension into heaven Christ knew them to be uncul- 


tivated, and yet he chose them to confound the learning 
of the wise of this world ; he knew them to be ignorant, 
and yet he selected them to unravel the most ingenious 
sophistry ; he knew them to be weak, and yet he called 
them to exhaust the cruel ingenuity of all their persecti- 
tors. Idols were to crumble before them into dust ; men 
were to be astonished, without knowing why, to find them 
selves Christians. But God was pleased, says St. Paul, 
to choose the foolish things of the world, in order to 
confound the wise ; and the weak things of the world, in 
order to confound the strong. (1 Cor. i, 27). As, at the 
sound of his voice, the universe came into being out of 
nothing, so he had only to bless his apostles, and his 
Church, or kingdom on earth, and a new spiritual world, 
stood forth, all beautiful, in the midst of nations. 

And Christ had repeatedly promised this blessing to the 
apostles. The Holy Ghost was to bestow it upon them. 
" The Comforter, the Holy Ghost," he told them, " whom 
the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all 
things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I 
shall have said to you." (John xiv, 26.) For this bless 
ing Christ commanded the apostles to wait, before leaving 
Jerusalem to announce the Gospel to all nations. Not 
long after Christ s ascension, the apostles received this 
blessing in abundance. According to promise, Christ sent 
upon them the Holy Ghost, the spirit of life, to animate 
them ; the spirit of grace, to sanctify them ; the spirit of 
wisdom, to enlighten them j the spirit of love, to unite them 
to himself ; the spirit of prudence, to guide them ; the spirit 
of fortitude, to strengthen them ; the spirit of piety, to cOm- 
fort them, and make them fervent; the spirit of peace, to 
calm their passions j the spirit of purity, to make them 


pure ; the spirit of liberty, to detach them from all earthly 
things ; the spirit of joy, to console them j the spirit of 
humility, to inspire them with a mean opinion of them 
selves ; the spirit of obedience, to brin^ them in perfect 
subjection to the divine will j the spirit of charity, to 
accompany all their thoughts and actions. 

2. When did the Holy Ghost come down upon the 
apostles ? 

On the feast of Pentecost the Holy Ghost came down upon 
the apostles in the shape of fiery tongues. 

After the ascension of our Saviour, the apostles assem 
bled together in an upper-room in the city of Jerusalem, 
and remained there for ten days, occupied in prayer, the 
Blessed Virgin and the holy women being with them. 
The roofs of the houses in Palestine being flat, the upper- 
room was often the best and largest, as well as the most 
retired. It was in this upper-room that St. Peter proposed 
the election, by lot, of an apostle to take the place of the 
apo state Judas. The lot fell upo n Matthias, who took at 
once the place of Judas. The sacred assembly was com 
posed of about one hundred and twenty persons, awaiting 
the coming of the Holy Spirit. At length, on the tenth 
day of their retreat, the Jewish feast of Pentecost, while 
they were all assembled together, u suddenly," about nine 
o clock, " there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty 
wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they 
were sitting ; and there appeared to them parted tongues, 
as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them. 
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost ; and they 
began to speak in divers tongues the wonderful works of 
God, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. " 
(Acts ii ; 2.) No sooner had the Holy Ghost come down 


upon the apostles, than he at once banished from their 
minds and hearts error, ignorance, prejudices, worldly mo 
tives, earthly desires, and, as Christ had promised, taught 
them not only some, but all truths. In a moment he 
changed them completely. A moment before, they were 
ignorant ; but now they are all filled with the most 
profound knowledge. A moment before, they could not 
understand the plainest truths ; but now they understand 
the great mysteries of religion. Just a moment before, 
they were ignorant disciples j but now they are made the 
teachers of all nations. Such is their eloquence and thair 
power of mind, that they convince the greatest orators, 
and confound the most learned philosophers. On the 
very day of the descent of the Holy Ghost, St. Peter 
preached to the Jews, and converted three thousand per 
sons. Like so many lions, all the apostles go forth, ani 
mated with zeal and charity. No obstacle, no power, no 
force, could stop their progress. The sure prospect of the 
most cruel death could not prevent them from performing 
the duties of their sacred ministry. Their words, animated 
with the love of God, penetrated and inflamed the heart* 

of their hearers, like darts of fire. The cities of Jerusalem, 

f I 4 / -i 

Antioch, Ephesus, even Rome itself, the great mistress of 

the world, listen with rapture and amazement to the burn 
ing words of the fishermen. At the sound of their voices 
the temples of the heathen gods fell, as the walls of Jericho 
fell at the sound of the trumpet of Josue. Regardless of 
danger, they preached Christ crucified, in defiance of all 
the powers of the world. They passed from city to city, 
from province to province, from kingdom to kingdom, to 
preach against the most ancient abuses and the most deeply- 
rooted vices. The whole world opposed them j but they 


were stronger than the world. The cross and gibbet were 
set up before them to silence them, but they replied : " We 
must announce the things that we have seen and heard ; 
we must obey God more than man." In a word, they 
made such rapid progress, they preached with such won 
derful success, that their doctrine reached the extremities 
of the world, as then known. It was thus that they estab 
lished the kingdom of Christ on earth, the holy Catholic 
Church, not by the force of arms, not by the severity of 
cruel laws, not by means of wealth, but by the strength, 
light, and courage, planted in their souls by the Holy Ghost. 
In defence of Christ s doctrine, they even laid down their 
lives. St. Peter was crucified at Rome, with his head down. 
On the same day St. Paul, who had been especially ap 
pointed Apostle of the Gentiles, was beheaded in Rome. 
St. Andrew was crucified in Patras, in Greece. St. James 
the Greater was beheaded. St. James the Less was cast 
down from the battlements of the temple. St. Simon was 
sawed in two % St. John the Evangelist was cast into a 
cauldron of boiling oil, and, being mercifully preserved, he 
was banished to the isle of Patmos, where he wrote the 
Apocalypse. Two years after, he returned to Ephesus, 
and died at the age of ninety. We learn from tradition 
that the other apostles also suffered and died for the sake 
of the Gospel which they preached. 

3, How did the apostles prove their divine mission? 

By many miracles, which they wrought in the name of 

If we open the books of the Old Testament, we find, in 

! , " f ^ / 

almost every page, accounts of miracles worked by God in 
behalf of his people. In every great emergency, and 
whenever it was expedient to warn, to protect, tQ 


or to chastise, we find the hand of God stretched out for 
the performance of miracles. When our Saviour appeared 
in this world, his birth, his life, his death and resurrection, 
were a series of miracles. He established his divine 
mission by the working of miracles. His apostles and 
disciples did the same, under his eye, and by his positive 
direction : " Going," said he to them. " preach, saying : 
The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise 
the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out deVils." (Matt, x, 7, 
8.) Christ knew that the heathen nations, blinded as they 
were with superstition and idolatry, sunk in sensuality, 
governed by their brutal passions, and having no distinct 
ideas regarding supernatural things, could not, without any 
other force or power than the preaching of poor fishermen, 
be induced to forsake their false gods and worship an 
invisible God. nor renounce their carnal passions, in the 
hope of a spiritual reward in another world. Therefore, 
when he imparted to his apostles the great commission to 
convert the world to his religion, he granted them, at the 
same time, the poVer of miracles j thus to show that they 
were really God s ministers, and that he spoke and wrought 
through them. Hence we find that the apostles continued 
to work miracles after the ascension of their Divine 
Master. The first preaching of the Gospel in Jerusalem, 
after the day of Pentecost, was accompanied, and rendered 
effectual, by the miraculous healing of the lame man, at 
the gate of the temple, by St. Pe ter and St. John. St. 
Peter also cured Eneas of the palsy, and raised Tabitha to 
life. His very shadow cured the sick (Acts v, 15) ; and even 
the handkerchiefs of St. Paul were the instruments em 
ployed by God for signal manifestations of divine power. 
In a word, the Gospel was introduced and everywhere 


established by miracles, as St. Mark tells us at the end of 
his Gospel : "And the apostles, going forth, preached 
everywhere : the Lord working withal, and confirming 
their doctrine with miracles that followed." 

4. Is, then, the doctrine of the apostles to be received 
as the doctrine of Christ ? 

Yes, for Christ said to his apostles : u He that heareth 
you, heareth me." (Luke x, 16.) u It is not you that speak, 
but the Holy Ghost." (Mark xiii, 11.) 

Allured by no earthly advantage, and subdued by no 
other force than that of the truth preached and confirmed 
by the miracles of the apostles, the learned and the igno 
rant, the Jews and the Gentiles, Greeks and barbarians, 
meekly bent their necks to the yoke of Christ, shook 
off their ancient prejudices, and professed themselves the 
followers of a crucified God. To become a Christian, a 
follower of Christ, in those days, was almost equivalent to 
certain martyrdom. The most trying of torments were 
employed against the Christians : racks and wheels, to 
stretch and disjoint their limbs ; iron teeth, to tear their 
flesh ; fire, gridirons, boiling oil, melted lead, to torture 
them ; wild beasts, to devour them. Some of them were 
flayed alive, or scourged till their bowels burst forth ; 
others were sawed in two j some, again, had their hands 
and feet cut off, their eyes and teeth plucked out, their 
nails torn off; some were wrapped, in pitch, and used as 
torches to light up the streets of infidel cities. But their 
faith was stronger than all torments : it overcame them 
all, it overcame death itself. 

And the faith of the early Christians was so strong, 
because they beheld in the apostles Jesus Christ himself 
continuing, in them and through them, the work of redemp- 


tion for the honor of his heavenly Father and the salvation 
of mankind. When they heard the apo stles preach, they 
most firmly believed that Jesus Christ preached to them, 
because he had said to those preachers : (t Go and teach all 
nations ; he who heareth you, heareth me." " You despised 
me not," writes St. Paul to the Galatians, "you did not 
reject me, but you received me as an angel of God, even 
as Christ Jesus. I bear you witness that, if it could be 
done, you would have plucked out your own eyes, and 
would have given them to me." (Gal. iv, 14, 15.) The 
same apostle says of the Thessalonians : " We thank God 
without ceasing: because, when you had received of us 
the word of the hearing of God, you received it not as the 
word of men, but, as it is indeed, the word of God, who 
worketh in you that have believed." (1 Thess. ii, 13.) 
Yes, " I in them " (the apostles and their successors), says 
Jesus Christ, u and thou, Father, in me. The glorj> 
which thou hast given me, I have given them." (John xvii, 
22, 23). Indeed, the apostles and their successors are men 
all divine. The royal prophet says of them : " Ye are 
gods." To forgive sins, to cause the Holy Ghost to dwell 
in the soul, to change bread and wine into the body and 
blood of Christ, are miracles that can be performed only by 
God himself. Yet, by the command of God, his priests 
perform these miracles every day. They may, therefore, 
truly be said to be gods j for, as St. Gregory Nazianzen 
says, " to have the power of an apostle of Christ is to be 
a god on earth, with the commission to make gods of his 
fellow-men." Next to God, an apostle, or a successor of 
an apostle, ranks highest in power. This truth can be 
understood only in heaven. If men upon earth could 
fully understand this truth, they would die of love. 


What admiration and respect, what love and veneration, 
would be elicited for him whom the Lord would, associate 
with himself to govern the universe, to rule with him the 
course of the stars, the changes of the seasons, and, 
if you will, to create with him new worlds ! A vocation 
so marvellous would place this privileged mortal in a rank 
apart. But the apostles and all their successors are the 
objects of a distinction far more glorious. They are not 
called, it is true, to direct the course of the sun, to excite 
or calm the winds all that is within the sphere of 
nature and time. They are called to a higher office : to 
give to heaven the elect ; to snatch victims from hell ; to 
sanctify souls j to concur in the redemption of a world, 
spiritual and indestructible ; to fill the greatest of kingdoms 
with inhabitants, all radiant with glory, divine and ever 

Since God, then, has placed the apostles and all their 
successors, the popes, bishops, and priests of the Catholic 
Church, upon the thrones of his own power and sanctity ; 
since he has given them the titles of " saviours of the 
world," since he calls them his " cooperators in the divine 
work of redemption/ what wonder if he commands all 
men to hear, to obey, and to honor them, as they are bound 
to hear, to obe y, and to honor God himself! " He that 
heareth you," says he, " heareth me ; " " He that toucheth 
you, toucheth the apple of mine eye." In the apostles, 
therefore, and in their successors, every good Christian 
sees the ambassadors of the blessed Trinity: "Go," says 
Christ to them, "go and baptize all nations in the name 
of the Father, and of the / Son, and of the Holy Ghost." 
In them, therefore, the Christian beholds the representatives 
of God the Father, to sustain his cause, to make his name 


respected, to defend his interests, to promote his glory, to 
vindicate his honor, to adopt for him children, and to 
prepare them for his service and his kingdom. The good 
Christian sees, in the apostles and all their successors, 
the representatives of the Son of God j because, in his 
name, and by his authority, they preach his Gospel, offer 
in sacrifice his body and blood, dispense his mysteries and 
his graces. He sees in them the agents of the Holy 
Ghost : " It is not you that speak," says Christ, " but the 
Holy Ghost." (Mark xiii, 11.) 

5, Does, t lu 11, the Holy Ghost abide with the Church I 
, Yes ; for f Christ promised that the Holy Ghost would 
always abide ivith the Church. 

Our divine Lord made a great promise to all his faithful 
followers, when he said: If you love me, I will pray to 
my Father, and he will send you the Holy Spirit, that ho 
may always dwell in you. " If you love me, keep my 
commandments. And I will ask the Father that he shall 
give you another Paraclete (Comforter), that he may abide 
witfy you forever." (John xiv, 15, 16.) This promise was 
fulfilled on the tenth day after his ascension into heaven. 
On that day the apostles did not receive the Holy Ghost 
for themselves alone j they received him also to com 
municate him, by themselves and their successors, to all 
faithful followers of Christ. Indeed, it is not even natural 
to suppose that the special gifts and powers by which the 
knowledge of Christ, and faith in him, were to be spread 
over the world, were to die out with the first few men to 
whom those gifts and powers were given. St. Luke tells us 
that, when the apostles heard that Samaria had received 
the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. 



These two apostles prayed for them that they might re 
ceive the Holy Ghost, who was not as yet come upon a^iy 
of them, Then they laid their hands upon them, and 
they received the Holy Ghost. (Acts viii, 14-17.) Thus 
did the faithful receive the Holy Ghost by the ministry 
of the apostles or their sucessors, both in baptism and con 
firmation. On this account St. Paul writes : " The charity 
of God is poured forth in our hearts by the H61y Ghost, 
who is given to us." (Rom. v, 5.) Hence, St. Bonaventure 
says, that " the just receive, not only the gifts, but also the 
person, of the Holy Ghost" (1 Sent., d. 14, a. 2, 9, 1). 
because, when the Holy Ghost infuses his charity and 
other gifts into a soul, he is so united to his gifts, that he 
infuses them together with himself. The same is taught by 
the renowned Master of Sentences (Lib. i, dist. 14 et 15), 
who quotes St. Augustine and others in support of this 
doctrine. " Grace," says Suarez, " establishes a most 
perfect friendship between God and man; and such a 
friendship requires the presence of the friend, that is, the 
Holy Ghost, who stays in the soul of his friend, in order to 
unite himself most intimately with him, and reside in his 
soul, as in his temple." It is for this reason that St. Paul 
writes to the Corinthians: "You are the temple of the 
living God " as God saith : "I will dwell in them, and 
walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall 
be my people " (Lev. xxvi, 12) ; "I will be a father to you, 
and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord." 
(Jer. xxxi, 9.) Since that remarkable day on which the 
Holy Ghost came down upon the apostles, he has never 
abandoned, and will never abandon, the faithful followers 
of Christ, the living members of his Church. 


6. Why does the Holy Ghost abide with the Church ? 

To preserve the Church in the purity of doctrine and in the 
unity of faith. 

" Truth," says St. Thomas Aquinas, " is the good 
the life of the intellect ; whilst falsehood is the evil the 
death of the intellect. As long as man remained innocent, 
it was impossible for man s intellect to believe that to be 
true which was really false. As, in the body of the first 
man, there could not be the presence of any evil, so, in 
like manner, in his soul there could not be the belief in 
anything false." But, alas ! ever since the fall of our 
first parents, there have been two elements continually 
combating each other, truth and falsehood, virtue and 
vice, true faith and heresy and infidelity. Satan is called 
in Holy Scripture the father of lies. From the beginning 
of the world he tried to turn all religious truths into lies. 
He practised this black art in paradise j and haVing 
succeeded in making our first parents believe his lying 
tongue, he has ever since continued to practise it on then 
descendants, thus to draw them away from God whom he 
hates, and to spread error and vice among men. But in 
spite of the efforts made by Satan and his agents, the 
enemies of truth, to destroy and falsify all religious 
truths, they never succeeded in obscuring it in the Holy 
Catholic Church. In her, Christ s holy ddctrine has always 
been preserved pure and uncorrupted, because the Holy 
Ghost, Jthe Spirit of truth, reigns forever in the Church, 
and abides with her; for which reason, in the Catholic 
Church, even children have an intuition of truth without 
fear arid confusion, and talk of God and his mysteries 
as if they had conversed with angels, while they dis 
play a clear knowledge of the whole circle of revealed 


truths, in comparison with which knowledge the wild 
guesses and perpetual contradictions of the most famous 
and learned pagans, or unbelieving philosophers or secta 
ries, are but inarticulate cries. 

One day a little Irish girl was weeping to find herself 
in a Protestant school, to which she had been carried by 
force, and where it was considered a useful employment 
of time to blaspheme the Mother of God. " How do you 
know she is in heaven ? " said a grim Protestant spinster 
to the little girl. The child knew very well that Our 
Lady is the Queen of heaven, and enthroned by the side of 
her divine Son, but had never asked herself how she knew it, 
nor met any one before who was impudent enough to deny 
it. She winced for a moment, as if she had received a 
blow, then flinging back tho long hair which fell over her 
face, this child of a Galway peasant fiercely answered : 
" How do I know she is in heaven ? Why, you Protes 
tants don t believe in purgatory. If she is not in heaven, 
she must be in hell. It s a pretty son who would send 
his mother to hell ! " Such an answer will surprise no Cath 
olic; it may astonish a Protestant. Other children say 
like words a hundred times. The gift of faith is a light 
of the Holy Ghost, which enlightens the minds of the 
faithful, even of children, to know and to believe that 
what the Church teaches is a holy and divine doctrine. 

X 7. How does the Holy Ghost preserve the Church in the 
purity of faith ? 

By f making the head of the Church the infallible teacher 
in matters of faith and mo rals. 

When our Lord Jesus Christ established his Church, he 
knew that in all future a^es certain men, moved bv 

/ / / / X 

human weakness or Satanic malice, or by both combined, 


would arise to corrupt or misinterpret the holy doctrine of 
his Church ; for, men are free agents, and if they will 
go against God, God, haVing given them this most glorious 
privilege of freedom, does not deprive them of it, e ven 
when they use it against himself, though, as he has 
unmistakably warned them, he will call them to strict 
account for their use or abuse of man s noblest gift. Now, 
to remove all doubts about the true meaning of Christ s 
doctrine, and to preserve it pure and free even from every 
chance of error, it was necessary that there should be 
some one privileged by God to state plainly, with divine 
certainty, that doctrine in all points of faith and m6rals ; 
in other words, it was necessary that there should be a 
supreme judge to decide in all disputed points of divine Jaw, 

from whose sentence there should be no appeal. With- 

/ f / / / / 

out this necessary safeguard, the way was forever open 

to error, and the work of Christ on earth practically 

If every man in the country were to explain the laws of 
the State as he pleases, there would be nothing but con 
fusion and disorder in society. In like manner, if every 
man were to interpret the sacred, eternal law of God, 
the doctrine of Christ, as he pleases, there would be noth 
ing but confusion and disorder in religion. In order to 
prevent confusion and disorder in society, human wisdom 
found it necessary to appoint a supreme / judge to decide 
ultimately in all disputed points of civil law. Now, if 
even human wisdom sees the necessity of appointing a 
supreme judge, to decide ultimately in all points of civil 
law, it is most clear that God, who is infinite wisdom, could 

I - / T I 

and did not fail to appoint a supreme judge to decide ulti 
mately in all points of divine law, in order thus to prevent i 


the possibility of confusion in religion. There never was 
a time when men were left to themselves to fashion their 
own religion, to invent their own creed, their own form 
of worship, and to decide in matters of religion, as they 
pleased* There always existed on earth a visible teaching 
authority, to which it was the bounden duty of every 
man to submit. During the four thousand years that 
elapsed before the coming of the Redeemer, the doctrines 
that were to be believed, the feasts that were to be 
observed, the sacrifices, the ceremonies of worship, 
everything connected with religion, were regulated by the 
living, authoritative voice of the patriarchs, the priests, and 
the prophets. In the Old Law, God appointed a tribunal, 
presided over by the high-priest, to judge in all contro 
versies, both of doctrine and morals. The decision of this 
tribunal was final, and without appeal. The Jewish his 
torian, Josephus, who was well acquainted with the laws ana 
religion of his own nation, says (lib. 2, contra Appium) : 
"The high-priest offers sacrifice to God before the other 
priests j he guards the laws, judges controversies, punishes 
the guilty, and whoever disobeys him is punished as one 
that is impious toward God." But a still greater authority 
than Josephus, the word of God itself, bears witness to 
the fact (Deut. xvii, 8-12) : " If thou perceive," says Holy 
Scripture, " that there be among you a hard and doubtful 
matter in judgment between blood and blood, cause and 
cause, and thou seest that the words of the judges within 
the gates do vary, arise and go up to the place which the 
Lord thy God shall choose. And thou shalt come to the 
priests and to the judge, that shall be at that time, and 
thou shalt ask them, and they shall show thee the truth 
of the judgment. And thou shalt do whatsoever thev shall 


say, and thou stialt follow their sentence. Neither shalt thou 
decline to the right hand, nor to the left hand. But 
he that will be proud, and refuse to obey the command 
ments of the priest who ministereth at the time to the Lord 
thy God, and to the decree of the judge, that man shall die, 
and thou shalt take away the evil from Israel." Here, 
then, is clearly a tribunal, appointed by Almighty God 
himself, to decide in the last resort, a tribunal from whose 
sentence there is no appeal. Consider carefully every word 
of the inspired text. There is no exception, the rule is for 
all; the terrible sentence is pronounced against every trans 
gressor : whosoeVer shall refuse to abide by the decision 
of the high-priest, shall die the death. Witness the puV 
ishment of Core, Dathan and Abiron : the earth opened 
and swallowed them up for refusing to obey. This su 
preme tribunal remained intact until the coming of the 
Redeemer. Our Lord himself assures us of this : " The 
Scribes and Pharisees have sat on the chair of Mdses. 
All things, therefore, whatsoever they shall say to you r 
observe and do. 77 (Matt, xxiii, 2.) Again, our Lord assurer 
us that he came not to destroy the law, but to make it per- 
feet. He therefore established, in the New Law, in hia 
Church, that which, in the Old Law, was most necessary 
for the preservation of faith and morals, He gave to the 
whole world an infallible judge and teacher in the person 
of St. Peter, the head of his Church, and in every successor 
of St. Peter, to decide ultimately in all points of faith and 

morals. Christ himself assures us that Peter and his suc- 

i ( 

ccssors are the infallible teachers of his religion. He told 

St. Peter that, by his prayer to his heavenly Father, he 
had obtained the gift of infallibility for him and all his 
successors: "I have prayed for thee (Peter), that thy 


faith fail not ; and thou, being once, converted, confirm thy 
brethren." (Luke xxii, 31, 32.) Christ prayed to his 
heavenly Father that St. Peter and his successors should 
possess the gift of teaching his religion infallibly, or with 
divine certainty ; because he wished that the never-failing 
faith of St. Peter and his successors should be forever the 
foundation-stone of his Church. He assi/res us of this great 
truth, when he asked the apostles, a Who do you say that 
I am ? " (Matt, xvi, 15); to which question Peter made 
answer, saying : " Thou art Christ, the Son of the living 
God." To this reply of St. Peter, Christ most solemnly 
answered : " Blessed art thou, Simon Bar- Jona : because 
flseh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my 
Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee that thou 
art Pe ter, and upon this rock I will build my Church." 
In these words Christ plainly says : As it is my Father 
who has made known to thee, Peter, that I am his Son, 
so, also, I make known to the whole world that thou 
and thy successors shall always know and understand 
who I am, and what I have taught, because I have 
intrusted you with my whole flock : teachers and hearers, 
priests and people, rulers and subjects : " Feed my lambs, 
feed my sheep." (John xxi, 16.) Your faith, I most 
solemnly promise, shall not fail, since no power shall pre 
vail against thee and thy successors, so as to cause you to 
teach anything else than I myself have taught : " The 
gates of hell shall not prevail against my Church," built 
upon your never-failing faith. (Matt, xvi, 18.) Hence it 
is that within the Church the successor of Peter speaks 
like his Master, " as one having authority," that he and 
all the elect of God obey that authority. They know that 
he who said, " Thou art Cephas (a rock), and upon this 


rock I will build my Church," lives and reigns in the Holy 
See. There is his throne on earth. There is the supreme 
tribunal before which the saints have always pleaded. 
" To it." as St. Irenseus wrote, " all the Churches must have 
recourse ; " with it, all the faithful everywhere must always 
agree." St. Athanasius, driven from his see, appeals to 
Julius, the Roman Pontiff. St. Dionysius of Alexandria, 
accused of heresy, implores Pope Stephen to examine and 
judge his faith. St. Pe x ter of Alexandria has recourse to 
St. Damasus. St. Cyril of Alexandria flies to St. Celes- 
tine. St. Jero me tells the Roman Pontiff, "Whoso 
gathereth not with thee, scattereth." Tertullian calls him, 
" the bishop of bishops." St. Ambrose says that where 
he is " there is the Church." St. Augustine accepts the 
judgment of St. Innocent as that of heaven. St. Cyprian 

told Antonianus, " To be united with the See of Rome is to 

f / 

be united to the Catholic Church ; " and, when even 

heretics appealed to the Sovereign Pontiff, pointed out the 
absurdity of their " going to the Chair of Peter, whence 
sacerdotal unity takes its rise." The amazing words of 
our Lord to St. Peter find their sure interpretation in the 
actual history of the Church, and the loving obedience of 
tlje saints. The one is but the fulfilment of the other. 
Everywhere the Roman Pontiff, a Victor, a Damasus, a 
Stephen, an Innocent, or a Gregory, claims the same 
supreme authority, and everywhere the saints confess, 

with acclamation, that he derives it from God. Every 

/ f i 

part of Christendom bears witness, from the earliest 

ages, that the Church is built on Peter. At the same 
moment, as Socrates relates in his history, the Bishops 
of Constantinople, Gaza, Ancyra, and Adrianople, driven 
from their sees, commit their cause to Pope Julius. The 


Council of Antioch adopts the words of Juvenal, Bishop 
of Jerusalem, that "it is an apostolic tradition that the 
Church of Antioch should be directed and judged by the 
Church of Rome." "Peter has spoken by Leo/ says 
the Council of Chalcedon. Churches, the most remote 
from the centre of unity, proclaim the same truth as loudly 
as those which are contiguous to it. At the Council of 
Aries, the Bishops of London, York, and Lincoln, confess, 
in the name of all their colleagues, the rights and pre 
rogatives of the Holy See. / When England had finally 
conquered Wales, and the Bishop of St. Davids was sum 
moned to do homage to the See of Canterbury, he 
replied that the British bishops had never recognized 
any superior " except the Holy See." The Church of 
Scotland gave a similar answer to the Archbishop of York 
when he claimed jurisdiction over it, and "the answer 
was approved/ as Lingard observes, " by Pope Clement 
III." These are only a few examples out of thousands. 
There is no opposing voice in the whole multitude of the 

It is clear that the infallibility of the pope was implied 
and assumed by the Fathers of the Church in every word 
they uttered. Without this conviction, all that the saints 
said of the Roman Pontiff and his office would have been idle 
verbiage or criminal exaggeration. Their own fervent 
confessions prove that the perpetuity of the faith was not 
a more certain truth to them than the ineYrancy of its 
chief witness. They understood, from the reiterated 
declarations of our Lord to Peter, unique in the whole 
history of God s dealings with man, that the Holy See 
was designed to be the eternal bulwark against heresy, 
the rock of the Church, the centre of unity, and arbiter 


of the faith. And they said so. They could not affirm 
this fundamental truth more explicitly than their Lord 
had done, nor exalt the functions of his Vicar more 
magnificently than he who gave to him " the keys of the 
kingdom of heaven. 77 And the councils echoed the 
same imperishable doctrine. They neither assembled 
without the pope s permission, nor dared to promulgate 
their decrees without his sanction. 

The pope, by his own motion, often condemned and 
defined Catholic doctrine, both before and after the first 
general council j and if the obstinacy of the party con 
demned by the pope made it advisable to have recourse 
to general councils, then those councils, after the most 
mature deliberation, were never found to do anything else 
than adhere to the sentence already passed by the pope. 
The Council of Ephesus, in forming its judgment against 
Nestorius, said that it did so, " following the canons and 
the epistle of the pope." The same council also ratified, 
without any further examination, the papal condemnation 
of Pelagianism. 

The Council of Chalcedon, in drawing up its decisions 
on the point of controversy, did not appeal to the synod 
whicK had been held at Constantinople under Flavian ; it 
appealed only to the decree of the pontiff. 

In the judgment upon Eutyches, Cecropius, Bishop of 
Sebaste, declared, in the name of all his brethren, that the 
Bishop of Rome had sent to them a formulary that they 
all followed him, and subscribed his epistle. 

The Sixth General Council, in like manner, declared 
that it adhered to the dogmatic epistle of Pope Agatho, 
and by it condemned the heresy. 

" The Bishop of Rome," say the Greek Synods and 


doctors of the Church, "has no need of being taught, 
because he knows, with an unerring knowledge, what is 
requisite for the unity of the bo dy of the Church." 
(Alzog s "Univ. Ch. H.," p. 674.) 

The decrees of the Fifth General Council, in 381, were 
not published as binding on conscience before they had 
been confirmed and declared as sound Catholic doctrine 
by the pope, for the simple reason that Christ bound him 
self solemnly only to Peter and his successors^ that their faith 
should not fail ; that is, that e very one of them would 
always be so enlightened by the Holy Ghost as to under 
stand the true meaning of his doctrine, and state and teach 
it plainly with divine certainty^. 

When the Fathers at Chalcedon said, "Peter hath 
sp6ken by Leo," they did not mean, " Peter hath spoken 
lies by Leo/ 7 but that the voice of the pope in every age 
is the voice of Peter, as his is of the God who said to him, 


"Feed my sheep." "Peter is not dead," as St. Ambrose 
said ; and when a great saint cried out, long ages ago, to 
the Roman Pontiff of his day, "Thou judgest all, but art 
judged by none," he did not propound the senseless doc 
trine that the Church is subject to a fallible authoVity, but 
that the Prince of the Apostles rules her to the end of 
time, and that therefore the pope was all that St. Bernard 
and St. Francis of Sales called him in their day all that 
the Vatican Council has proclaimed him in ours. It was for 
all the saints of God an elementary Christian truth that 
" e x rror can have no access to the Roman Church," as 
St. Cyprian confessed, because, as St. Ambrose and St. 
Augustine declared, " the Chair of Peter is the rock which 
the gates of hell will never overcome." " The faith of the 
Apostolic See," says Pope Hormisdas. " has always been 


inviolate; she has preserved the Christian religion in its 
integrity and purity j therefore, anathema upon all who 
depart from this faith. 7 (Alzog s " Univ. Ch. H.," p. 674.) 

It has, then, always b^en the belief of the -Catholic 
Church the that Pope, in his solemn decisions in matters 
of faith and morals, is infallible j that is, he cannot be 
deceived nor deceive : in other words, that what the 
pope teaches when he speaks to all the faithful as chief 
pastor and teacher of the Church, is infallibly true. This 
is an article of faith which we must believe as firmly 
as we believe that there is a God j to say or even to 
think otherwise is to be an apostate from the faith 
before God. 

u We teach and define," say the Fathers of the Vatican 
Council, " that it is a dogma (an article of faith) divinely 
revealed ; that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex 
cathedra, that is, when, in the discharge of the office of 
pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his 
supreme apostolic authority he defines a doctrine regal-d 
ing faith or morals to be held by the Universal Church, 
by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed P^ter, 
is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine 
Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed for 
defining doctrine regarding faith or morals ; and that, 
therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irre- 
formable of themselves, and not from the consent of the 
Church. But if any one which may God avert! presume 
to contradict this our definition, let him be anathema." 
(Cap. iv.) Now if any one asks : 

8. When docs the pope, by the assistance of the Holy 
Ghost, teach infallibly? 

We answer : The pope teaches infallibly when, as 


teacher of all Christians, he defines a doctrine concerning 
faith or morals. 

We do riot claim for the pope infallibility in his opinion, 
nor in his conversation, nor when writing a book of 
theology as a private doctor, etc. He is infallible, as the 
universal father, in all matters of faith and morals j in all 
facts, natural or supernatural, which affect the faith or 
moral government of the Church ; in ail doctrines, logical, 
scientific, physical, metaphysical, or political, of any kind 
whatsoever, which imperil the integrity of the faith or the 
salvation of souls j he is infallible in determining the relig 
ious action which the Church has to take in this world, 
and the means she must use in order to fulfil the duties 
which God has imposed upon her. Whenever, then, the 
Holy Father, as Chief Pastor and Teacher of all Christians, 
proceeds, in briefs, encyclical letters, consistorial allocu 
tions, and otker apostolic letters, to declare certain truths, 
or anything that is conducive to the preservation of faith 
and moVals, or to reprobate perverse doctrines, and con 
demn certain errors, such declarations of truth and con 
demnations of errors are infallible, or ex-cathedra acts 
of the pope, and therefore are binding in conscience, and 
call for our firm interior assent, both of the intellect and 
the will, even though they do not express an anathema 
on those who disagree. To refuse such interior assent 
would be, for a Catholic, a mortal sin, since such a 
refusal would be a virtual denial of the dogma of infalli 
bility, and we should be heretics were we conscious of 
such a denial. (St. Alphonsus Liguori, " Theol. Moral.," 
lib. i, 104.) It would even be heresy to say that a ny such 
definition of truths or condemnations of perverse doctrines 
are inopportune, as is clear from a brief of Pope Pius IX, 


dated Nov. 6, 1876, and addressed to a bishop of Germany. 
The London Tablet, Dec. 16, 1876, writes: "A very 
important letter from his Holiness, addressed, as it 
appears from internal evidence, to a bishop in Germany, 
though the name of that bishop is not forthcoming? 
has been given to the world by the newspaper entitled La 
Croix. Though it has been made public not in a very 
regular manner, yet, as it has been already reproduced by 
the French Catholic press, we cannot do wrong in noticing 
it. The Holy Father, after intimating his approval of the 
bishop s condemnation of some plan, the nature of which is 
not stated, goes on to deal with the case of certain German 
priests, who, ( after having long delayed manifesting their 
adhesion to the dogmatic definition of the Vatican Council, 
touching the infallible magisterium of the Ro man Pontiff, 
have at last made their profession to this effect, but de 
claring, at the same time, either that they had cmly made 
up their minds to do so because they saw those German 
bishops who had defended the opposite opinions in the 
council accept their definition, or else they admitted, indeed, 
the do gma defined, but without admitting the opportifne- 
ness of the definition. 7 The Holy Father goes on to say 
that, as the definitions of General Councils are infallible, by 
reason of the fact that they proceed from the inspiration 
of the Holy Spirit assisting the Church, they cannot but 
teach the truth j and that truth does not derive either its 
force or its character from the assent of men ; rather, as 
it proceeds from God, it requires a full and entire consent, 
dependent on no condition. Nor could any heresy have 
ever been proscribed in an efficacious manner, if it had 
been permissible to the faithful to wait, before submitting 
to the definition of the truth, for the assent of those who 


opposed that definition, and were condemned by it. This 
doctrine/ adds his Holiness, i which is the same for the 
definitions of (Ecumenical Councils, and for the definitions 
of the Supreme Pontiffs, was clearly expressed by the 
Vatican Council when it taught, at the close of its defini 
tions, that l the definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irre- 
formable of themselves, and not in virtue of the consent of 
the Church. 7 (Sess. iv, c. iv, in fine.) The Supreme 
Pontiff then passes judgment on the other class of persons 
just mentioned. It is still more absurd/ he says, to accept 
the definition, and persist in saying that it is inopportune. 
The vicissitudes, indeed, of our times, the errors as 
numerous as all that have ever existed, the fresh errors 
which are every day invented for the destruction of the 
Church, the Vicar of Christ deprived of his liberty, and 
the bishops of the power, not Only of assembling, but even 
of teaching, all attest with what opportuneness Divine 
Providence permitted that the definition of the pontifical 
infallibility should be proclaimed at a time when the right 
rule of belief and conduct was about to be deprived of all 
other support. But putting all these considerations on one 
side, if the definitions of (Ecumenical Councils are infal 
lible, precisely because they flow from the wisdom and coun 
sel of the Holy Spirit, nothing, surely, can be more absurd 
than to think that the Holy Spirit teaches, indeed, things 
which are true, but may still teach them inopportunely. 
The bishop to whom the letter is addressed is, therefore, 
instructed to warn any such priests, if there are any in 
his diocese, that it is not permitted to them so to limit 
their assent as to make it depend upon an act, even a 
praiseworthy act, of this or that bishop, rather than 
on the authority of the Church; and that they must 


adopt the definition by a full and entire assent of 
intelligence and will, unless they would depart from the 
true faith. 7 " 

In the question of the infallibility and authority of the 
Apostolic See, there is one thing which we should be careful 
to bear in mind : Jesus Christ gave to his Church not 
only gifts and powers, he gave her, also, an infallible 
kno wledge of these gifts and powers. We must believe 
that she has this knowledge, and knows, with infallible 
certainty, what she is, and what is in her, and what belongs 
to her. It is, therefore, not for us to say where the 
authority of the Church ceases, and where the authority of 
human experiment begins. The Church alone can judge 
how far her authority goes. What things come wholly 
within the domain of science, and what things belong to the 
region of faith and morals j where the boundary line is to 
be drawn, and in what attitude we have to place ourselves 
as to certain subjects, these things are altogether beyond 
our power or our right, and are wholly within the judg 
ment of the Apostolic See. It is left to the Church alo ne 
to tell us what is and what is not necessary for the salvation 
of our souls. If she tells us that certain things are part of 
the faith which she has to teach, or necessary for this faith, 
we are bound to believe her. We have no more questions 
to ask : " No man, 77 say the Fathers of the great Council 
of Nice, u ever accused the Holy See of a mistake, unless 
he was himself maintaining an error. The case of St. 
Cyprian will occur to every one. The enemies of the 
Church have never been able to mention a single instance 
of a pope who departed one hair s-breadth from the true 
faith of the Church, a fact which is admitted even by 
Protestant writers. Even in the midst of the most evil 


days, the sanctity of the See of Rome was never wholly 
obscured." (Ecglehardt, "Ch. Hist.," vol. i, p. 312; Mar- 
heineke. "Uni. Ch. Hist.," Erlangen, 1806.) The true 
explanation of this fact must be sought for in the prayer of 
Christ, in which a promise is given to Peter and his suc 
cessors that they shall enjoy immunity from all error in 
matters of faith (Luke xxii, 32), and to which pointed 
reference is made by the popes, Leo the Great and Agatho. 
Pope Leo says, in his Sermon iv, 4 : " All are confirmed 
in Peter, and the assistance of divine grace so regulated, 
that the grace which is conferred by Christ on Peter passes 
on through Pe ter to the other apostles." Let us be humble, 
and say, with King Oswy : " I say, like you (St. Wilfred), 
that P0ter is the porter of heaven, and that I will not 
oppose him, but will, on the contrary, obey him in all 
things, lest, when I come to the doors of the heavenly 
kingdom, there be none to open them to me, if I am at 
variance with him who carries the keys. In all my life I 
will neither do nor approve any thing or any person that 
may be opposed to him." (Alzog s " Uni. Ch. Hist.," vol. 
ii, p. 93.) 

9. Are, then, the definitions of the Pope new articles of 

No ; the Holy Father can make no new articles of faith ; 
he merely defines (that is, finally determines) what is offaitji, 
according to Holy Scripture and t tradition : "The Holy 
Spirit" say the Fathers of the Vatican Council, u was not 
promised to the successors of Peter, that ~by his revelation 
they might make known new doctrines, but that by his assist 
ance tficy might inviolably keep, and faithfully expound, the 
revelation or deposit of faith delivered ihrougji the apostles." 
Hence, when the pope defines any point of doctrine pertain 
ing to Catholic faith, it is as much as to declare that the 


doctrine in question was revealed to the apostles, and has 
come down to us from the apostles. 

lt The pope can change nothing that Christ has estab 
lished, as of faith, or of morals. The pope could not permit 
Henry VIII to put away his lawful wife and to marry 
another. The Protestant Episcopal Church had . to be 
invented to perform that task. The pope cannot author 
ize me to steal what does not belong to me, or, to hate my 
neighbor and wish him eVil. The infallibility of the 
pope is not omnipotence. It does not give him the liberty 
to do whatever he pleases. On the contrary, the pope is, 
almost every day, declaring that he cannot do this or the 
other thing that his persecuting tormentors ask him to do. 
His infallibility, then, consists in this : that, while the 
faith that is in him is also in the other bishops and in 
the faithful, in these it does not so exist that in one or 
other of them, or even in many of them, it may not fail. 
But the privilege granted to the successor of St. Petei 
is that his faith can never fail. His privilege of 
infallibility is not to change one iota of the faith, but to 
keep it pure and undefiled. The nonsense about the pope, 
in virtue of his infallibility when teaching the Church, 
coming to meddle in the political party quarrels of coun 
tries, where no question of faith or morals is involved, is 
too drivellingly insensate to be contradicted. The faith 
and doctrine of the Catholic Church is open, and may be 
read by all men 5 by laymen as by the hierarchy, by non- 
Catholics as by Catholics. This faith and doctrine the 
Pope of Rome, by the singular gift to Peter by our Lord, 
is infallible in kteping and declaring." (From the N. Y. 
Freeman s Journal.) 


10. Is man, then, infallible ? 

No man is infallible of himself ; but the pope is infallible, 
by the assistance of the Holy Grhost, when he teaches any 
thing as Chief Pastor and Doctor of the Church. 

The pope, it is true, is man ; but, from the beginning 
of the world, God has spoken through men. He spoke 
though the patriarchs and the prophets. But the pope is 
a greater patriarch than Abraham, he is greater than Mel- 
chisedech in priesthood, greater than Moses in authority, 
greater than Samuel in jurisdiction j he is Peter in 
power, Christ by unction, pa stor of pastors, guide of 
guides j through him the Holy Ghost speaks and teaches 
the whole flock of Christ. This is the doctrine of the 
apostles, say the Fathers of the Vatican Council : " And 
indeed all the venerable Fathers have embraced, and the 
holy orthodox doctors have venerated and followed, their 
apostolic doctrine, knowing most fully that this See of 
holy Peter remains ever free from all blemish of error, 
according to the divine promise of the Lord our Saviour, 
made to the Prince of his Disciples : i I have prayed for 
thee that thy faith fail not 5 and when thou art converted, 
confirm thy brethren. 7 

" This gift, then, of truth and never-failing faith was 
conferred by heaven upon Peter and his successors in this 
Chair, that they might perform their high office for the 
salvation of all ; that the whole flock of Christ, kept away 
by them from the poisonous food of error, might be nour 
ished with the pasture of heavenly doctrine ; that, the 
occasion of schism being removed, the whole Church 
might be kept one, and, resting on its foundation, might 
stand firm against the gates of hell." (Cap. iv.) It is, 
then, the Holy Ghost who speaks through the pope J 


through him he preserves the purity of Christ s doctrine ; 
and teaches it free from every blemish of error. 

11. How does the Holy Ghost preserve the unity of faith 
in the Church ? 

By granting toiler members the gift of faith, which en 
ables them to believe all that the Church teaches. 

,As Christ, by his prayer, obtained the gift of infalli 
bility for Peter and his successors, in like manner he 
obtained, by his prayer, the gift of faith for the rest of his 
flock : " Holy Father," he prayed on the eve of his p^s- 
sion, " keep them in thy name whom thou hast given me, 
that they may be one, as we are also. And not for them 
only do I pray, but for them also who, through their word, 
shall believe in me, that they all may be one, as thou, 
Father, in me, and I in thee ; that they may be one in us, 
that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." (John 
xvii.) According to the interpreters of holy Scripture, 
Jesus Christ asks of his heavenly Father that all his fol 
lowers might participate in the one and in the same Holy 
Ghost, so that in him, and through him, they might all be 
united to the other divine persons. Now, all the prayers of 
Christ were heard by his Father, as he himself tells us, 
when he prayed to his Father to raise Lazarus from the 
dead : lt Father, I give thanks tha thou hast heard me, 
and I know that thou hearest me always." (John xi, 41.) 
As Peter and his successors then obtained, by Christ s 
prayer, the gift of teaching infallibly, so, also, the flock of 
Peter obtained, by Christ s prayer, the gift of believing 
most firmly all that Peter in person, or through his suc 
cessors, would teach them., Various, gifts of the same 
Holy Spirit are given to different persons, says St. Paul, 
that each may discharge 14s own duty: u For in one 



spirit we were all baptized into one body . . . and in 
one spirit we all have been made to drink." (1 Cor. xii, 
13.) As the Vicars of Christ are infallible in teaching, so 
the Church is infallible in believing. 

The head of the Catholic Church, the body of Christ, 
being infallible, the whole body shares the inerrancy of 
the head. Peter and his sucessors were made infallible 
in all that relates to faith and morals, not for their own 
sake simply, but for the sake of their flock, that truth 
might never be subject to correction, and that all the 
pastors and the faithful might be eternally secured from 
error. Adhering to the infallible judgment of Peter, they 
cannot be deceived. Such is the God-given privilege 

of the whole Catholic Church. We have a right to be 
/ / / / 

peremptory in condemning every kind of heresy, and we 

condemn it with an infallible judgment, for we do not 
speak in our own name, like heretics ; no, we speak in the 
name of him to whom it has been given, as the, Vatican 
Council says, u to be possessed of that infallibility with 
which the divine Redeemer willed that his Church should 
be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith and 
morals." It is the perpetuity of this undying authority of 
Peter which distinguishes the Church of Christ from 
human sects. It alone supplies both the safeguard of 
Christian truth, and the ^est of Christian obedience to 
truth. Without this infallible authority, all is disorder, 
and the whole plan of redemption a mockery ; there is 
neither Church nor Christianity, but only sects and opin 
ions. Outside the Church neither unity nor obedience 
is possible, because nothing exists which can maintain 
the one, or enforce the other. To be separated from the 
divine authority of the pope, is to be separated from God, 


and to have no place in the kingdom of Christ : " Where 
Peter is, there also is the Church of Christ ; " that is, all 
those who believe and teach as the pope does, form the 
true Church of Christ. 

12. What, then, is the faith of the Roman Catholic ? 

The faith of the Roman / Catholic is a gift of the Holy 
Ghost, enabling him to believe firmly all that God teaches 
through his Church. 

Our belief in a person s word is firm, in proportion as we 
think that he is not deceived in his knowledge ; that he 
knows well what he says, because he is wise and prudent ; 
that he will not deceive us, because he loves the truth, and 
fears God. Thus, in transacting business, we give more 
credit to a learned or able, than to an ignorant, man ; to a 
learned man who is virtuous, than to one who is not so. 

Now, God is the first and essential truth. His know 
ledge extends to all things, and is infinitely perfect j he is 
essentially true in his words. He knows things olily as 
they are, and can speak them only as he knows them. 
Therefore, when God speaks, whether it be in his own 
divine person, or through the apostles and their lawful 
successors in the Catholic Church, we must listen and obe y? 
simply because it is the voice of God, who can neither 
deceive nor be deceived. We must have the most respect 
ful, submissive faith in all that he has revealed to us 
through his Church, and believe her doctrine with the 
utmost firmness and simplicity, with an unwavering con 
viction of their reality. 

/ / . / 

We must believe all the articles of faith more firmly 

than we believe the proposition that the whole is greater than 
its part. We should believe them more firmly than what 
we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, touch with our 


hands. We should be more certain of these articles of 
faith than we are of our own existence, which is a reality 
of which we cannot doubt j yet the things of faith are 
still more real, having been taught by God, who cannot 
deceive us. Our knowledge of natural things comes 
through the senses, which often deceive us. Hence there 
is nothing true in the universe of which we ought to be 
so certain as of the mysteries of religion. " Faith," 
says St. Basil, " always powerful and victorious, ex 
ercises a greater ascendency over f minds than all the 
proofs which reason and human science can furnish, be 
cause faith obviates all difficulties, not by the light of 
manifest evidence, but by the weight of the infallible 
authority of God, which renders them incapable of admit 
ting any doubt." It was thus that Abraham believed 
when, notwithstanding all the impediments of nature, 
he felt sure that he should see himself the father of 
a son, and, through him, of many nations. He be 
lieved in hope against hope," says St. Paul, ii that 
he might be made the father of many nations, accord 
ing to what was said to him : i So shall thy seed be. r 
And he was not weak in faith, for he considered neither 
his old age, nor that of his wife Sarah. He distrusted 
not the premise of God, but was strong in faith, giving 
glory to God, being most fully convinced that whatsoever 
God has promised he is able to perform. 

The faith of Moses was so great, that St. Paul says of 
him that " he acted with the invisible God as though he 
were visible." 

Similar was the faith of the famous and valiant Count 
de Montfort, who, being told that our Lord, in the Host, 
had appeared visibly iu the hands of the priest, said to 



those who urged him to go and see the miracle: "Let 

those go and see it who doubt it j as for myself, I believe 
firmly the truth of the mystery of the Eucharist, as our 
mother, the holy Church, teaches it. Hence, I hope to 
receive in heaven a crown more brilliant than those of 
the angels ; for they, being face to face with God, have 
not the power to doubt." 

The noble Count St. Eliazer used to say that, with re 
gard to matters of faith, he believed them so firmly that, 
if all the theologians in the world strove to persuade him 
to the contrary, their logic would not have the slightest 
effect on him. 

And, in truth, faith ought to take precedence of reason, 
demonstration, experience, and all other motives of certi 
tude, with the true Christian and new man regenerated in 
Jesus Christ: "Consider," says St. Augustine, " that you: 
are not called reasonable, but faithful, since, when a ny one 
is baptized, we say, He has become one of the faithful." 

We must have this firm faith not only in some, but ifc 
all the truths which God has made known, although they 
may be altogether incomprehensible to us. Faith will not 
allow of the rejection of even one ; and he who should 
voluntarily entertain a doubt of one single article, one single 
point of faith, could not be said to have faith at all. We 
believe everything that God has revealed, precisely for 
this reason, that God lias said it. 

The word of God, who is infallible truth itself, and who 
cannot deceive nor be deceived, is the why and wherefore 
of our belief. To say or to think, I believe this article, 
this truth of faith, but I do not believe that, is as much as 
to say or to think, I believe that God tells the truth in 
this point, but he tells it not in that ; it is as much as to 


say, God is capable of telling a lie. This is blasphemy j 
it is even the denial of God s existence. 

And also to say or to think, I cannot believe such an 
article, or such a mystery of faith, because it is too obscure, 
too incomprehensible, and contrary to reason, is to exhibit 
a lamentable lack of reason. To be a man, it is neces 
sary to have reason. Reason is the light^ of man. But 
reason tells us that it is necessary to submit to faith, and 
that there is no sense in him who wishes to subject to his 
reason the Author of his reason ; and that to wish to under 
stand what is above his intelligence, is to be without 

Reason tells us that our religion would not be divine if 
it were not above reason. For God would not be God, 
if he were not incomprehensible ; and my soul could not 
adore him, if my mind could comprehend him. It is one 
thing to say that such a mystery is contrary to reason, 
and another to prove it. In order to prove that a doctrine 
is contrary to reason, we must have a clear, precise idea 
of what that doctrine is. We can say, for instance, that 
it is contrary to reason to assert that a square is a circle, 
for we have a clear, precise idea of what a square is, and 
what is a circle. But we cannot say with certainty that 
a doctrine or a mystery of our holy faith is contrary to 
reason, for we can never have a full, clear, precise idea 
of that doctrine or mystery. We cannot have this clear 
idea, simply because those doctrines are far above reason. 
We cannot say, for instance, that the doctrine of the 
Holy Trinity, the doctrine of the three divine persons 
in one divine substance, is contrary to reason, because 
we can never have a clear, precise idea either of God s 
essence, or of the nature of the three divine persons. 


And what is true of the Trinity is true also of all the 
other doctrines and mysteries of our holy faith. They are 
not against reason, but they are above reason. Reason 
is aboVe the senses, and faith is abcfve reason. 

" Certainly," says St. John Chrysostorn, "since the 
works of God incomparably surpass the capacity of our 
minds, the thoughts whereby we seek to penetrate the 
abysses of faith are always accompanied with folly, and 
resemble labyrinths which it is very easy to enter, but from 
which it is almost impossible to come forth. These thoughts 
spring from pride ^ and as proud minds are ashamed to 
believe or to admit that which they ca nnot understand, 
they entangle themselves in difficulties from which they 
cannot easily issue. Is it true, then, proud man, that you 
can understand how the sun and stars were created j how 
the earth, with all its riches, was called forth from cha x os ; 
how the magnet attracts iron ; how a single grain of corn 
sown in the earth produces a thousand other grains ? You 
are not ashamed to own that you cannot answer these 
things ; and when there is question of things of a more 
sublime nature, of things that are above the comprehension 
of angels, you will not avow your ignorance you make 
bold efforts to understand them. Fool! the shame is not 
the inability to comprehend them, but the daring to sound 

Speaking of Rahab, who received the spies, and of 
whom St. Paul says that fyer faith saved her from the 
unhappy fate of her fellow-citizens, St. Chrysostom praises 
the simplicity of her faith, and adds: "This woman did 
riot examine what the spies said, neither did she reason 
with herself thus : How can it be possible that the captives 
and fugitives now wandering in the desert will capture a 



city so strong and so well provided as ours ? Had she 
argued thus, she had been lost." 

/ / / 

Those of the Israelites, on the contrary, who, hearing 
of the prodigious strength and power of the countries they 
were to conquer, -yielded to diffidence, notwithstanding the 
divine assurance that they should vanquish their enemies, 
even without fighting them, were deprived, by their infi 
delity, of the happiness which God had promised to their 

What could be more strange or more opposed to reason 
than to command a father to sacrifice his only and most 

/ / / l 

innocent son ? Arid yet Abraham put himself in readi 
ness to offer sacrifice without discussing the commandment, 
or adducing arguments to prove its unreasonableness. He 
considered only the divinity and wisdom of tlim who 

Another person, who wished to show himself more reason 
able, refused to strike a prophet, as he had been ordered 
to do. Such a thing he thought was improper. But 
his disobedience was soon punished, for a lion rushed upon 
him and devoured him, not far from the place where the 
fault had been committed. 

Saul having been ordered by God to put the Amale- 
kites to death, with their flocks and herds, found it reason 
able to spare the king, and to set aside the best and 
fattest of the flocks for sacrifice. Asa recompense for his 
fine reasoning on the subject, he was overwhelmed with 
many evils, and finally lost his kingdom. 

The infant at the mother s breast takes what it sees not ; 
sometimes it will even close its eyes when it might see 
what it takes, as though it confided entirely in its mother, 
and in the love she bears it j in like manner the soul 


draws the milk of faith from the bosom of the Church, 
which she sees not. She reposes on the infinite wisdom 
and goodness of Jesus Christ, who can teach her nothing 
but what is true, and give her nothing that is not good. 
It is on this juice of divine faith that the just man lives, 
as St. Paul tells us ; he avoids not only o pen heresy, he 
also diligently shuns, and his heart dissents from, those 
opinions which approach it more or less closely ; and he 
religiously observes those constitutions and decrees where 
by such evil, opinions, either directly or indirectly, have 
been proscribed and prohibited by the Holy See. For, to 
be a good Catholic, "it is not sufficient," says the Vatican 
Council, u to shun heretical pravity, unless those errors also 
be diligently avoided, which more or less nearly approach 
it. We, therefore, admonish all men of the further duty 
of observing those constitutions and decrees by which 
such erroneous opinions as are not here specifically enu 
merated, have been proscribed and condemned by this 
Holy See." (Can. iv.) 

Tfce faith of St. Teresa was so firm, that it seemed to 
her she t could convert all heretics from their errors j 
and so simple, that she said, the less she comprehended a 
mystery, the more firmly she believed it, arid the more 
devotion it excited in her : she tasted a singular pleasure 
in not being able to comprehend it. She silenced all objec 
tions to a mystery, by saying : il The Son of God, Jesus 
Christ, has revealed it to us, and we have no more queV 
tions to ask." 

Indeed, the fact that Jesus Christ has said or done this or 

that thing, or has taught it to his Church, and commanded 
her to teach it to all nations, must be for us the weightiest 
of all reasons to believe it. The famous word of the 


Pythagoreans, u The master has said it/ was with them a 
foolish idolatry, believing, as they did, that no one could 
be deceived. Applied, however, to Jesus Christ, it must 
be a first principle, a sacred axiom, for eVery Christian. 
The heavens and the earth shall pass awa y, but " the 
truths of the Lord remain forever." (Ps. cxvi, 2.) He 
has said : " What is great before men is an abomination 
before God." He has said : " Sooner will a camel pass 
through the eye of a needle than the rich e nter the king 
dom of heaven." He has said : " Woe to you who now 
rejoice, for you shall weep ; " " Blessed are those who 
weep." He has said : " He who renounces not all, and 
himself also, cannot be my disciple." He has said it. 
Re ason, perhaps, might suggest that these oracles must 
be explained, softened, modified ; that it cannot compre 
hend how we can find peace in war, glory in contempt, 
delight in crosses. But the good Christian listens only 
to his Master : u Christ has said it." He would not have 
said it, were it not true. The good Christian believes most 
firmly the doctrine of the Catholic Church, which the 
apostles have proclaimed, which so many saints and wise 
men have preached, which the blood of the maVtyrs has 
cemented, which miracles have proved, which reason 
confirms, which the elements and insensible creatures have 
announced, which the demons themselves are constrained 
to acknowledge ; yes, the good Christian receives the 
doctrine of the Catholic Church, glorious with so many 
victories, racliant with so many crowns, laden with the 
spoils of all its enemies. If, in imitation of the martyrs, 
the good Christian has not the happiness to die for this 
doctrine, he endeavors at least to live up to all its precepts. 




f f / 

The Catholic Church is a living society, established by 

God. It will always remain as God made it. What he 
constituted the head of the Church, will continue to be 
the head. What he constituted the teaching authority, 
will continue to be the teaching authority. What he con 
stituted the subordinate members, or the hearing Church, 
will always so continue 5 and the faith which God com 
missioned his Church to teach to all nations, will always 
continue the same faith, for the Catholic faith or religion 
is the word of God, and the word of God is unchangeable. 
Hence, if any one asks : 

1, Has the word of God been preserved pure aiid uu- 
corrupted ? 

We answer : Most assuredly ; for it is impossible that 
the ivord of God can be corrupted in the infallible Church. 

If we consider the ancient Jewish people, it is impos 
sible not to be struck by the wonderful fact of a whole 
people surpassing all o ther nations in antiquity, and living 
throughout in the very midst of universal idolatry and 
degradation, bearing intact the deposit of the natural, or 
the primitive religion^ that is, of the belief in, and worship 
of, one only God, spiritual, holy, all-powerful, Father and 
Judge of all men ; such, in fact, as the wnole Christian 
world worships now. 


It was not long before all the nations, illumined origin 
ally by the light of primitive religion, saw that light 
expire. They lost themselves in the paths of super- 
stiuon and idolatry. They wandered farther and farther 
away from the truth, and nothing could draw them back to 
the right way. Thus the human mind generally lost 
sight of the truth wliich the Jews alone preserved. Is 
not this a real prodigy in the moral o rder ? How did the 
J-ews alo ne escape the universal shipwreck of reason ? 
How came it that they alone held fast to the primitive 
truth, and resisted the tendency of the human mind 
toward error, they wlio were more ancient than all other 
nations, and consequently might, as they advanced in age, 
have become corrupted much sooner than the others I 
They were naturally not less gross, not less carnal, not less 
affected by that moral wound which inwardly weakens all 
mdrtal men. How are we to explain this grand fact ? 
The preservation of religious truth among this people can 
be explained only by attributing it to the same means by 
which truth was first made known to man : the intervention 
of God. 

The same God who incessantly watched over his sacred 
word before the coming of Christ, has also watched with 
the same care over the purity of his word after Christ s 
coming. Hence our Lord says in the Gospel: tl 1t is 
easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of 
the law to fall. 7 (Luke xvi, 17.) The J/wish Church was 
commanded by God to try, and, after sentence, to stone 
any one, whoever he might ba, who counselled them to 
depaVt from the true God : so solicitous did God require 
that Church to be in sa-ving the people from error. 
Christ requires his Church to be just as solicitous in 


saving the people from error. Hence she has never failed 
to cast her stones of condemnation, reprobation, and 
excommunication, at those who^ left the truth, taught 
perverse doctrine, and led their fellow-men into error and 
perdition. Witness every General Council, witness every 
Brief, Apostolical Letter, Consistorial Allocution of the pope, 
condemning and reprobating heresies and errors of the 
age 5 witness the condemnation or the prohibition of so m^ny 
heretical, licentious, and immoral books. In the days of 
the primitive Church there was, in the market-place, a 
great burning of books which had been condemned by the 
apostles. In the succeeding centuries, the works of heretics 
were condemned as soon as they appeared. This practice 
of condemning false and immoral books has been continued 
to this day. De Lamennais and Gioberti, Rosmini and 
Ventura, of whom the two last have been imitators of the 
humble Fenelon, the two first of the arrogant Tertullian, 
are examples, in our own day, of the ceaseless vigilance of 
the successors of St. Peter in rebuking and destroying 
eri^or. The two first resisted the voice of Peter, and 
withered away like a tree blasted by lightning ; the two 
last obeyed his paternal remonstrance, and, by their 
humility, acquired fresh titles to the love and respdct of 
Christians, to whom they have left so excellent an exa m- 
ple. Such is the sleepless fidelity of God s Vicar, and 
such are the fruits of his divine mission, to preserve the 
children intrusted to him in the purity and simplicity of 
our most holy faith. Before his presence error cannot 

f 7 / 

hide her face, and the spirits of darkness, despairing of 
success, return to the abyss from which they came. 


2. How does the Church preserve the word of God ? 

The Clyurch preserves the word f of God, partly in the 
Holy Scriptures, and partly in tradition. 

The Catholic Church possesses a large volume of sacred 
writings, called the Holy Scriptures, or Holy Writ, or the 
Bible, or the written word of God. The Church regards 
the Bible : 1, as an authentic book, because its various parts 
are written by those authors to, whom they are attributed; 
2, as a genuine book, because every part of it has come 
down to us as the author wrote it, without any essential 
change ; 3, as an inspired book, because either God himself 
rev/aled the things contained in each part, and which the 
author could not have known unless by God s revelation ; 
or because God directed the author in the selection of 
things already known to him. and preserved him from 
error whilst writing them. Hence, St. Paul recommends 
this " Scripture inspired by God" to Timothy (2 Tim. iii, 
1 6), arid St. Peter calls its writers " holy men of God," who 
"spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost." (2 ^et. i, 21.) 
The Fathers of the Church call the Bible a holy and divine 
book, and frequently tell us that God himself is its author. 

The pure preservation of the sacred writings is alto 
gether owing to the parental solicitude of the Catholic 
Church. The Church existed as a well-organized society, 
having full divine authority, before there was ever any 
question of the Scriptures. This is an undeniable fact. 

In the ancient law, we see the Jewish Church established 
and governed j MOses invested with authority ; the people 
going to him to seek the judgment or sentence of God; 
Aaron clothed with the priesthood j Joshua placed at the 
head of their armies ; the synagogue directed by Chiefs, 
and as yet the Scriptures had no existence. The first tables 


of the law, graven by the hand of the Lord, had been broken 
by Moses 5 the second were not brought down from Mount 
Sinai, and given to the people, until some months after 
ward. It was v6ry much later, according as eve nts suc 
ceeded one another, that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. 
As for the other books written by the judges, by Da vid, 
Solomon, and the prophets, they did not exist till many 
centuries after the institution and complete development 
of the ancient Church 5 and it was only a few years before 
the coming of our Saviour that the list of the canonical 
books of the first part of the Bible, or the Old Testament, 
was closed by the Second Book of the Machabees. 

Then our divine Saviour comes. He preaches, he com 
mands his disciples to preach throughout the whole world, 
but he does not write anything, nor does he command any 
one else to write. He imparts his own authority to St. 
Peter and to the otjier apostles. After his ascension he 
sends down his Spirit upon them, and from that moment 
the Catholic Church is established. She assembles in 
council, to appoint a successor to Judas, or to declare 
the Jewish ceremonies abolished j she pronounces on the 
questions concerning the Gentiles 5 she preaches, she bap- 
tizes 7 she converts the world 5 she speaks in all things with 
the voice and authority of God, and as yet the New 
Testament is not written. Of all the apostles and disciples 
there are but seven who have wri tten ; and they have 
written only fragments of history and some letters. 

First came St. Matthew, who began to write his 
pel, at the earliest, six years after the ascension of Christ. 
St. John did not publish his, with his letters and the Apo 
calypse, till toward the close of the first century 5 that is, 
forty years after St. Paul had said to the Romans, " Your 


faith is spoken of in the whole world." (Rom. i, 8.) At the 
time when St. Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles, there 
existed many churches, governed each by its own pastor, 
as we see in this book of the Acts. The churches of 
Rome, of Corinth, Colosse, Thessalonica, Galatia, certainly 
existed before the Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, 
Colossians, Thessalonians, and Galatians, were written. 
The Apocalypse contains exhortations and reproofs ad 
dressed to bishops of the churches. At least ten 
generations of Christians had lived and died before the 
world knew such a book as the Bible. It was only in 
the fourth century, when the persecutions were over, that 
the Church could and did gather together the scattered 
books which she had carefully preserved. She determined 
which were canonical (holy and inspired), and which were 
not. Many books which were considered inspired, and 
supposed to have been written by the apostles or their 
disciples, were set aside and rejected as spurious, or not 
inspired. The Catholic Church collected the proper books 
in one volume ; she put this volume into the hands of 
her children j she told them it was the word of God, and 
commanded them to believe and receive it as such. 

As the art of printing was not invented until more than a 
thousand years after the authorized collection of the 
Scriptures, the Church had the Bible copied thousands of 
times. She translated it into different languages^ and 
continued to watch over its safety, and to guard it with 
parental care, amidst storms and revolutions, amidst fire 
and floods, amidst changes and persecutions. . She presses 
it to her bosom as a treasure of priceless value j her 
children repeatedly shed their blood to preserve it, rather 
than expose or surrender it to the danger of profanation. 


/A s / 

Under the fiery persecutions of Diocletian, hundreds of 
Christians laid down their lives rather than give up the 
sacred books ; and later on, during the revolution of the 
middle ages, the first thing always thought^ of by the 
monks, who were then the principal transcribers of the 
Bible, was to transport the sacred volume to the mountains, 
or to some other place of safety, at the first approach 
of danger. 

As it is the Catholic Church alone that has pre 
served the sacred Scriptures, so also, the Catholic Church 
alone can assure us that these writings are inspired by 
God, have God for their author, are his infallible word. 
Inspiration is something altogether supernatural, something 
that cannot be perceived by any of the senses j soine- 
thing which cannot be rendered, infallibly certain by feel 
ing or reason, or any merely human testimony, for no man 
ever saw a prophet or an evangelist converse with God. 
No sacred writer ever asserted that any of his writings 
were inspired. No private man, therefore, is able per 
sonally to discover, satisfactorily, divine inspiration either 
in the forty-five books of the Old Testament, or in the 
twenty-seven of the New. To know what is from God, 
inspired qr spoken by God, it . is necessary to have 
come from God, and to be guided by God. And the 
Catholic, Church alone is that society which is established 
and guided by God, to make known to men, with divine, 
infallible certainty, what is the word of God, and what is 
not. She has parsed her infallible judgment on the holy 
Bible. TKe Council of Trent says: "If any one does 
not receive all these books, with their parts, as sacred and 
canonical, let him be anathema." After such a solemn 
declaration of the Church concerning the authenticity and 


inspiration of the holy books, every Catholic says, with 
St. Augustine : " For my own part, I should not have 
believed the Gospel, if I had not been influenced by the 
authority of the Catholic Church. * Luther himself, the 
apostate monk, could not help making a similar declara 
tion : " We are compelled," he says, "to concede to the 
Papists that they have the word of God; that, without 
them, we should have had no knowledge of it at^ all." 
(Comment, on St. John, chap, xvi.) Now then, answer 
to the question of the Catechism : 

3. What i? Holy Scripture ? 

Holy^ Scripture is a collection of books, written under the 
inspiration of the IIftly Ghost, and acknowledged by the 
Church to be the written word of God. Now, 

4, How is the Holy Scripture divided? 

Holy Scripture is divided into the books of the Old and 

of the New Testament, or of the Old and of the Neiv Law. 

{ > f / 

The Bible is divided into two parts. The first part con 
tains those books which were written before the coming of 
Christ ; and the second part consists of those books which 
were written after Christ s coming. All the books of the 
first part, combined, are called the Old Testament, or the Old 
Law. The word, " testament," means alliance, or covenant. 
The Old Testament is the alliance, or covenant, which God 
made with the ancient Jewish people, through his great 
servant, Moses. It is a contract containing, on the one 
part, the commands and promises of God j and, on the 
other, the engagements of the Jewish people to keep God s 


The books of the second part of the Bible are called the 
New Testament. The New Testament is the alliance, or 
covenant, which God has made with his new people, the 


Christians, through Jesus Christ, his own beloved Son, 
This alliance is more perfect than was the ancient one 
with the Jews. 

5. What do the books of the Old and the New Testament 
contain ? 

The books of the Old Testament contain the principal 
truths which God revealed,, before the coming of Christ ; and 
the books of the New Testament contain part of the truths 
which God revealed through Christ and his apostles. 

In order to prevent men from forgetting or altering his 
law, God commanded Moses to write down all his Ordi 
nances. He also afterward inspired the prophets and Others 
to write their prophecies, their instructions, and, in later 

times, the doctrine and history of the Catholic Church. 
t 1 j > j 

According to their contents, the books of the Old Testa 
ment are divided into three parts : 

1. The historical books, twenty- one in number. They are : 
the five books of Moses : Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Ntfm- 
bers, Deuteronomy. These are called the Pentateuch, or 
the Law. In them are related the creation of the world, the 
lives of the patriarchs, and the covenant which God made 
with his people, who were called the Jews, or the Hebrews, 
or the Israelites. The other historical books contain 
either the history of the people of God in general, such 
as : the books of Joshua, that of Judges, the four books of 
Kings, the two books called Paralipomenon, the books of 
Esdras, that of Nehemias, and the two books of Machabees f 
or they contain the history of certain saints or other illus 
trious personages, such as: the histories of Job, Ruth, 
Tobias, Judith and Esther. 

2. TJie moral books, or the books of instruction. These 
teach men how to lead holy lives j they are: the one 


hundred and fifty Psalms of David, the Proverbs, Eccle- 
siastes, the Canticle of Canticles, the book of Wisdom, 
and Ecclesiasticus. 

3. The prophetical books, namely: the books of the 
four great prophets, Isaias, Jeremias, Ezechiel, and Daniel; 
to which may be added David, t and the twelve minor 
prophets : Osee, Joel, Amos, Abdias, Jonas, Micheas, 
Nahum, Habacuc, Sophonias, Aggeus, Zacharias, and 
Malachias. These are called the minor prophets, because 
they wrote less than the first four. The books of the 
prophets mostly contain prophecies or announcements of 
future events. 

The books of the New Testament are also divided, 
according to their contents, into three parts : 

1. The historical books (the Gospels written by St. 
Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John), and the Acts 
of the Apostles, written by St. Luke. 

2. The books of instruction, which are the fourteen 
Epistles by St. Paul : one to the Eomans, two to the 
Corinthians, one to ^the Galatians, one to the Ephesians, 
one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians ; two to the 
Thessalonians, two to Timothy, one to Titus, one to 
Philemon, one to the Hebrews; one by St. James 5 two by 
St. Peter ; three by St. John j and one by St. Jude. 

3. The prophetic book, or the Apocalypse, or Revela 
tions, by St. John. The catalogue of the books of the 
Old and the New Testament is called the canon of the 
Scriptures, and hence the sacred writings themselves 
are called canonical. " These divine writings," says St. 
Isidore of Pelusium, "which are set before thee in the 
Church of God, receive as tried gold, they having been 
tried in the fire by the divine Spirit of the truth. They 


are steps whereby to ascend to God." (Lib. i, Ep. 369 ; 
Gyro, 96. Paris, 1638.) 

All the sacred truths, however, taught by our divine 
Saviour and his apostles, are not found in the sacred 
Scriptures. Hence, it is said in the Catechism that the 
New Testament contains but part of the truths which God 
Revealed by Jesus Christ and his apostles. Several of 
these truths have been handed down by tradition. 

6. What is tradition ? 

Tradition is that part of Christ s doctrine which is not 
recorded in the New Testament. 

Tradition signifies testimony or truth, handed down by 
word of mouth from father to son, and generation to 
generation. By tradition, as here used, is understood the 
word of God, not written in the sacred books, but pre 
served in the memory of men in the manner described. 
In no age did God wish that all he had taught men for their 
salvation should be fully and clearly recorded in writing. 
In fact, for two thousand years there was no written 
word of God. Moses was the first whom God inspired 
to write down that which he had made Ijtnown to mankind 
from the beginning of the world until his time. But 
God did not inspire Moses to write down a full, clear state 
ment of all religious truth. 

Were Noe, or any other of the patriarchs, to come to us 
with a copy of what Moses wrote about his knowledge of 
God and the truths revealed by the Lord, he would tell 
us that he had a wider, clearer, more definite, arid more 
practical knowledge of religious truth, than is conveyed by 
the words of Moses to the isolated reader. We find, for in 
stance, the distinction made between clean and unclean 
* / 

animals, which distinction evidently had reference to the 


divine institution of sacrifice, of the origin of which we 
nowhere read in Scripture. Nor are we told what animals 
were fit, and what were unfit, for that holy rite. All, this 
Noe would, of course, have known by divine tradition. 
He was to take by sevens of the clean, and by twos of 
the unclean. 

In the account of the fall of man, there is no express men 
tion made of the evil being who caused the fall, but only 
of the visible form which he assumed. That it was Satan, 
all the patriarchs and the Jews knew ; but the fact that it 
was Satan, is mentioned in a part of holy Scripture which 
was never in the hands of the Jews, viz. : the 12th 
chapter of the Apocalypse, verse 9. That Henoch pro 
phesied, is nowhere recorded in the Old Testament. Yet 
the patriarchs, after Henoch, and the Jews knew Henoch s 
prophecy about our Lord. It has been preserved by tra 
dition, and confirmed by St. Jude the Apostle, 14, 15 : 
u Now of these Henoch also, the seventh from Adam, 
prophesied, saying : Behold, the Lord cometh with thou 
sands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, to reprove 
all the ungodly for all the works of their ungodliness, 
whereby they have done ungodly, and of all the hard 
things which ungodly sinners have spoken against God." 
Holy Scripture also tells us of Henoch : " Henoch walked 

with God, and was seen no more, because God took him." 

7 / 

(Gen, v, 24.) The expression, " was seen no more," implies 
his removal from the earth. But we certainly should 
neVer have discovered the important fact of his trans 
lation in the flesh without other help than those words 
themselves afford. Throughout the rest of the Old Testa 
ment writings there is no clear statement of this fact. 
We owe our certain knowledge of the real case entirely 


to the words of St. Paul, who gives an explanation of it in 
his Epistle to the Hebrews : " By faith Henoch was 
translated, that he should not see death, and he was not 
found, because God had translated him : for before his 
translation he had testimony that he pleased God." (Heb. 
xi, 5.) The knowledge of the fact, however, was preserved 
traditionally among God s people, and the truth of the 
tradition is confirmed by an inspired writer. Henoch is 
still living and in the flesh. 

In the whole period before the Deluge, we have but 
one recorded revelation respecting man s spiritual interests, 
and that is the statement made to the serpent : " And 
the Lord God said to the serpent : Because thou hast 
done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle and beasts 
of the earth : upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth 
shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. I will put enmities 
between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed ; 
she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her 
heel." (Gen. iii, 14, 15.) 

Now that statement, by itself, is evidently quite inade 
quate as a foundation for such a living, practical system 
of religion as existed at that time. It requires the exist 
ence of a divinely-appointed teaching Church, with its 
groundwork of traditional knowledge, to give a value to 
that statement. The patriarchs before the Flood could not 
possibly have obtained from that brief statement all the 
knowledge of the truth which they undoubtedly had. The} 
knew the extent and value of that statement by the teach 
ing of the divine system in which they lived, and which 
they humbly followed 

Even when we come to Abraham, who seems to have 
lived in the very light of God s countenance, we find that 


the revelation made to him is brief and indistinct. Surely, 
in the words, " in thy seed/ there is not enough whereon 
to build the whole religion of Abraham. 

The main feature, however, of the patriarchal Church, 
was sacrifice, which requires more particular notice. We 
do not read anywhere of the institution of the rite of sacri 
fice, nor of the meaning of the rite, nor is there any com 
mand mentioned for offering sacrifice till we come to the 

Mosaic time : but allusions in the book of Genesis show 

) > 

that sacrifices were continually going on, and in some 

cases, as for instance, Gen. xv., they were sacrifices of a 
very peculiar nature, and of a highly ceremonial charac- 
ter. We find Abraham, by God s command, offering not 
merely a lamb or a bullock, but " a cow of three years 
old, and a she-goat of three years, and a ram of three 
years ; a turtle also, and a pigeon." (Gen. xv, 9.) The 
offerer of such sacrifices learned a great deal by his habit 
of sacrificing. He was schooled by it into a due acknow 
ledgment of God as his Creator, taught humility, and a 
dependence upon something with which God had pro 
vided him to become acceptable in his presence. The 
tendency of every sacrifice manifestly was to impress 
upon man, practically, a sense of his own unworthiness 
to appear before God without some atonement ; to teach 
him that without some death or suffering, undergone on 
his account, he could not worship God pro perly ; to make 
him, so far as he could then be made, a Christian. A 
sense, then, of sinfulness, and of the necessity of atone 
ment, was the practical habit formed by sacrifices j and so 
mankind were trained in a state of preparation for the 
Gospel and its benefits. 

What, then, is the light in which we are to regard t^ese 


brief revelations of holy Scripture? We are to look 
upon them as solemn declarations, full of deep meaning 
and import, presupposing a divine teaching system, but 
clothed and wrapped up, as it were ; not speaking clearly, 
if at all, to persons who knew nothing else than those 
words, yet giving sufficient knowledge to those living 
under a divinely-appointed teacher of traditional know 
ledge. There was a patriarchal body, a patriarchal 
church, in which there was a system of religious education, 
clear and distinct, so far as it went ; a ceremonial and 
certain sacraments, by which men were drawn toward God, 
and taught the knowledge of the truth. That patriarchal 
church, or body, simply because it was God s ordinance, 
was a guide sure and infallible, to the extent of the revelaf- 
tion then made known. It had all the essentials of a 
teacher from God. Its knowledge, though partial, was 
clear, and its utterance distinct and infallible. 

This is a most important thing to bear in mind, because 
infidelity, rationalism, and heresy, in every form, are 
always taking advantage of the brevity of holy Scripture, 
its want of explicitness, to the disparagement of its teach 
ing, and of religion in general. For instance, the fact that 
the doctrines of the immortality of the soul, and the resur 
rection of the body, are not explicitly stated in the books of 
Moses, has given occasion for asserting that those truths 
were not known at that time ; and that all that holy men 
of old were looking to, all that, in fact, the Church of 
Israel desired and hoped for, lay on this side the grave ; 
and that life and immortality were in no sense brought 
to light before the coming of the Gospel. Such a distinction 
between former dispensation and the Christian is used as 
an argument against the Christian revelation. 


We ought, then, to remember that the patriarchs, 
and the patriarchal body generally, had a clear, definite, 
practical knowledge of religious truth, a wider knowledge 
than the mere words of holy Scripture, had they possessed 
them, could have conveyed to isolated minds. They 
infallibly preserved, by divine tradition, the religious truths 
and the promises of God. 

From the beginning of the world to the time of Moses, 
the faithful followers of God believed in an unwritten 
divine revelation or in tradition. From the time of 
Mdses, almost to the time of the coming of the Redeemer, 
those, also, who were saved outside the Jewish people, 
had faith in tradition. It was also by tradition alone 
that the Jews knew several religious truths : such as the 
Trinity, original sin, the spirituality and immortality of 
the soul, the future incarnation. It was a tradition 
among the Jews that, besides the written revelation, Moses 
also received, on Mount Sinai, an oral and traditional 
revelation, which he transmitted to the priests. To this 
tradition our Saviour appealed. (Matt, xxiii, 2.) Moses, 
the judges, King David, and others of the inspired writers, 
repeatedly referred the Jews to it. The traditions of 
the Pharisees and of the heathens only are condemned. 

There has ever been a Church of God, a society pos 
sessing and preserving a full and clear traditional know 
ledge of divine ,truth, independent of all writing, or 
collection of writings. Of course this is so under the 
GospeHispensation. Our blessed Lord founded his Church, 
committed to her the deposit of truth, commissioned her 
to teach that truth to all nations, and promised to be with 
her so teaching^ till he should come again; and to that 
teaching he enjoined obedience under the severest menace : 


"He that believeth not shall be condemned." (Mark 
xvi, 15.) Those doctrines which our Lord^and Saviour 
Jesus Christ taught his apostles by word of mouth, 
but which they have not committed to writing, together 
with those which the Holy Ghost dictated to them, and 
which they were to transmit to the Universal Church, 
are called the Christian traditions, or the word of God, 
not written in the New Testament. Holy Scripture itself 
and the early Fathers of the CHurch tell us that the whole 
doctrine of Christ and his apostles was not written down : 
" There are also," says St. John, at the end of his Gospel, 
" many other things which Jesus did, which, if they were 
written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be 
able to contain the books that should be written." (Chap, 
xxi, 25.) "All things," writes St. Epiphanius, "are not 
found in the holy Scripture, for the apostles have taught 
us some by tradition, some by writing." Whence, for 
instance, do we know that the Old and the New Testament 
are inspired writings 5 that the Sunday is to be kept holy, 
instead of Saturday ; that the baptism conferred uj5on 
infants by heretics is valid ; that baptism is necessary for 
children j that the receiving of holy communion is not 
necessary for the salvation of infants ? These and oiher 
doctrinal or moral truths we know only by tradition. 

7. How has the unwritten word of God come down to us ? 

The unwritten word of (jrod has come down to us by the 
constant and invariable teaching of the Church. 

The apostles taught the truths which they had learned 
from Christ. They took great care to instruct their dis 
ciples thoroughly, and make them capable of so instructing 
others. Thus their pure and holy doctrine was delivered 
to the first bishops and priests of the Roman Catholic 


Church. By them it was, in like manner, handed down to 
their successors, and so on, unimpaired, to those who, at 
the present time, teach in the Catholic Church. This we 
know fromVhat St. Paul writes to the Bishop Timothy, 
and from the early Fathers of the Church : "And the 
things which thou hast heard of me before many witnesses" 
writes St. Paul, "the same commend (intrust) to faithful 
men, who shall be fit to teach others." (2 Tim. ii, 2.) St. 
Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, who was acquainted with 
many of Christ s disciples, and especially with St. John, 
writes : ** I have always taught what I have received from 
the apostles." 

" We received the Gospels from the apostles," says St. 
Clement ; " they were sent by Jesus Christ ; Jesus Christ 
was sent by God. Receiving command, and by the resur 
rection of our Lord fully secured, and strengthened by the 
Holy Spirit, the apostles went out, announcing the coming 
of the kingdom of God. They preached through the 
country and towns, and appointed bishops and deacons, 
their first fruits, and whom they had proved by the 
spirit. These our apostles knew, through Je^us Christ, 
that disputes concerning episcopacy would arise ; where 
fore they appointed those of whom I have spoken, and 
thus established the series of future succession, that, when 
they should die, other approved men might enter on their 
ministry." (Ep. i, ad Cor., Tuter P. P. Apost., t. i, p. 171: 
Amstel. 1724.) The pastors of the Church, then, taught 
what they received. Christ left his revelation living in the 
divine authority of the pastors of his Church ; by these it is 
left also living in the unanimous consent of the Fathers and 
Doctors of the Church ; in the decrees and decisions of Gen 
eral Councils and of the Sovereign Pontiffs; in the liturgies 


or other forms of prayer ; in the acts of the martyrs ; in 
the public and solemn administration of the sacraments 5 in 
the catechisms and books of instruction of Christian writers j 
in the faith, the prayers, the religious practices of the Chris 
tian family, and the Christian monuments of the Church. 
The Catholic Church is the Jiving Gospel Those who have 
seen the grand cathedrals in Europe tell us that there they 
found expressed, in the most striking forms of the Rcmian- 
esque and Gothic styles, the precept of prayer, the faith 
in the Real Presence, and in the holy sacrifice of the Mass, 
the distinction between clergy and people, and the preemi 
nence of bishops over simple priests j that there they read 
the principal truths of the Gospel in the pictures and em 
blems on the window-glass. And those who have visited 
the catacombs of Rome tell us that there they saw altars 
for the celebration of the Mass ; the bones of martyrs under 
the stone upo n which Jefeus Christ was offered ; tribunals 
of penance, where the Christians, during the first three 
centuries, confessed their sins, befo re receiving holy com 
munion ; that there they found sculptures representing 
Christ crucified, his ever blessed Virgin Mother MaVy, 
his holy apostles, the primacy of St. Peter, the belief in 
purgatory, the invocation of saints, and the practice of 
baptizing infants. 

Now, this is the Gospel written in the blood of martyrs 
on the tombs and vaults of these catacombs, engraven in 
the very b6wels of Rome, inlaid in stone and in marble, as 
precisely and clearly as in our catechisms. Again, were 
we to examine the documents of old libraries, the books of 
the Greek and Latin Fathers, of the writers of controversy 
of eVery country and of every century, we should find 
the Gospel spoken and proclaimed in all languages, as on 


/ / 

the day of Pentecost. Finally, if we recall to our mind the 
universal religious practices : the frequent use of the sign 
of the cross, the practice of fasting in Lent, prayer for 
the dead, repeating the Apostles Creed, are they not the 
living Gospel ? Indeed, the Catholic Church and the 
Gospel are one. Where else could we find the " Thou art 
Peter," that is, the Church founded upon Peter ? Where 
else should we find the " I am with you all days," that is, 
an episcopate uninterrupted from the days of Jesus Christ 
to our own time ? Where else should we find the "Whose- 
soeVer sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them," 
that is, the ministry of the forgiveness of sins ? Where else, 
indeed, should we find the sacrifice of which the apostle 
speaks the realization of the words of St. Paul, " We have 
an altar," that is, the universal and perpetual sacrifice 
announced by the prophets, the sacrifice according to the 
rite of the high-priest of Salem, the sacrifice under the 
appearance of bread arid wine, the " priest forever, accord 
ing to the order of Melchisedech " ? 

All these are facts which most eloquently bear witness 
to ^the Gospel truths of the Catholic Church ; they are 
witnesses which no heresy can silence j they are barriers 
in defence of her Scriptural and traditional truths, which 
no subtlety can undermine, no boldness surmount. 

, 8. Must we believe the unwritten word of God just as 
firmly as the written ? 

Yqs, because the one is the word of God just as well as 

the other. 

The doctrines taught by Jesus Christ and his apostles, 
which have not been written in the New Testament, are 


no less true than those which are there written. The 
apostles taught the true doctrine of Christ not less by 


their preaching than by their writings j and the Holy Ghost 
expressed his will as well by their tongues as by their 
pens. "Therefore, brethren," writes St. Paul, "stand 
fast, and hold the traditions which you have learned, 
whether by word or by our epistle." ("2 Thess. ii, 14.) 
"It is, then, evident," writes St. John Chrysostom, "that 
the apostles taught many things without writing, which 
we must believe as firmly as those which are written." 
(Horn, iv, on 2d Epist. to the Thessal.) 

Hence, " if you are a Christian," says Tertullian, 
" believe what has been handed down." (De Prescript, 
xix.) To refifse to believe in the unwritten word of God 
is as much as to say to the Lord: "I will believe in thy 
word in all that thou te llest, on condition, that thou 
takest the trouble to give it to me in writing." What 
folly, what impiety is this ! Such impiety is abhorred 
and condemned by the Catholic Church. " There are," 
says the Council of Trent, " truths and rules of conduct 
contained in unwritten teaching, which, being received by 
the apostles from the lips of Christ himself, or delivered 
by the apostles themselves, under the dictation of the 
Holy Ghost, have come down as from hand to hand, eVen 
to us. These traditions the Council receives and venerates 
with the like piety and reverence as it does the holy 
Scriptures ; arid if any one knowingly and deliberately 
hlds the aforesaid traditions in contempt, let him be 
anathema." (Sess. iv.) " Let us, therefore," says St. John 
Chrysostom, "account the tradition of the Church worthy 
of faith. It is tradition ask no more." (Horn, iv, in 
Epist. ii, Thess., n. 2.) " It never was," says St. Vincent 
of Lerins, " it nowhere is, it never will be, allowable for 
Catholic Christians to teach any other doctrine than that 


which they have received ; and it always has been, every 
where is, and will be, their duty to anathematize those who 
do otherwise." (Commonit. adv. Hsereses.) The infalli- 
ble rule of faith which Christ left for all men is to believe 
all that his Church teaches. Wherefore, " that only is 
of divine faith which God has revealed, and which the 
Church proposes to our belief." Not to believe what the 
Church teaches is " to be a heathen and a publican," a great 
sinner before God. Certain it is, that whatever truth 
the Catholic Church proposes to our belief, it is contained 
either in holy Scripture or in tradition. But the authori 
tative reason for believing it, is the divine, infallible teach 
ing authority of the Church. We need her unerring voice, 
especially in the interpretation of holy Scripture. Hence 
it is asked in the Catechism : 

9, Is it easy for every one to understand the Holy 
Scripture ? 

And the answer is : No ; for, what St. Peter says of the 
Epistles of St. Paul may be applied to many other passages 
of holy Scripture, namely : " There are certain things in 
his (St. Paul s], Epistles which are hard to be understood, 
which the unlearned and unstable ivrest, as they also do the 
other Scriptures, to their own destruction." (2 Pet. iii, 16.) 

Evidence of this simple truth is seen every day. Protes 
tant sects, such as the Mormons, build systems of the grossest 
immorality on perverted texts of Scripture. C/nly recently, 
members of an English sect called the Peculiar People were 
brought up for trial in the civil courts, for having caused 
the death of a child. They refused to call in the services 
of a doctor when the child was sick, justifying their conduct 
by such Scriptural texts as : " The Lord shall heal the 
sick man," "Not a bone of him ye shall break," etc. 


Luther declared on his death-bed : " We are mere sch^ol- 
boys, incapable of thoroughly understanding one single 
verse of Scripture ; and it is with difficulty we succeed in 
learning the A B C of it. Five years hard labor will 
be required to understand Virgil s Greorgics ; twenty years 
experience to be master of Cicero s Epistles ; and a hundred 
years intercourse with the prophets Elias, Eliseus, John 
the Baptist, Christ, and the apostles, to know the Scrip 
tures ! Alas ! poor human nature ! " (Florimond Remond, 
b. iii, c. ii, fol. 287; Laign, Vita Lutheri, fol. 4.) The 
Scriptures greatly differ from all human writings. These 
can be understood at once, provided the mind be applied 
to them, and be sufficiently disciplined to follow the author s 
train of thought. There is no such thing as meaning hid 
den behind meaning in human writings. Once we have 
mastered them, we know the whole of their contents. Not 
so with holy Scripture. After we have critically studied 
the language of the Scripture ; after we have accumulated 
all external information bearing on its matter ; after we 
have availed ourselves of all the aid which the Church 
provides for her children, even then we have not exhausted 
its meaning. 

The sense of holy Scripture cannot, as it were, be 
mapped, or its contents catalogued ; but after all our dili 
gence, to the end of our lives, and to the end of the 
Church, it must be an unexplored and unsubdued land, 
with heights and valleys, forests and streams, on the right 
and left of our path, and close about us, full of concealed 
wonders and choice treasures. Of no doctrine whatever, 
which does not actually contradict what has been delivered, 
can it be peremptorily asserted that it is not in Scripture j 


of no reader, whatever be his study of it, can it be said 
that he has mastered every doctrine which it contains. 

This peculiarity of the holy Scripture, namely, that a 
great deal more meaning is implied in the word of God 
than is expressed, constitutes the great difficulty in the way 
of discovering its sense. The word of God is, indeed, a 
word holy and adorable j but a word that remains silent 
under every interpretation. When difficulties and doubts 
arise, then I must have some external guide or interpreter 
that shall solve those difficulties, and satisfy my doubts, 
and that guide or interpreter must be unerring. 

10, Who is the infallible interpreter of Holy Scripture ? 

The Catholic Church alone is the infallible interpreter of 
holy Scripture. 

We learn the sense of Scripture in the same way as we 
learn the rest of Christian Doctrine, that is, by consulting 
and listening reverently to our divine teacher, the Cath 
olic Church j for the sense of Scripture was divinely 
impressed upon the mind of the Church by her divine 
Founder, from the beginning of her existence ; that sense 
being, in matter of fact, nothing more nor less than the 
deposit of faith, which it was the Church s duty and office 
to guard, interpret, and develop, according as occasion 
should serve. " The apostles," says St. Irenseus, " care 
fully intrusted the Scriptures to their successors j and to 
whom the Scriptures were intrusted, to them also was 
committed the interpretation of Scripture." Accordingly, 
the Church has decreed, in the Council of Trent, that no 
one should presume to interpret the Scriptures in a sanse 
contrary to that which she has held and holds, or contrary 
to the unanimous consent of the Fathers : " No prophecy 


of Scripture," says St. Peter, "is made by private inter 
pretation." ( 2 Pet. i, 20.) 

The Church may make known the sense of any passage 
of Scripture in two ways : directly or indirectly. She 
makes it known directly, either by a solemn definition, or 
by the universal consent of the Church, from the Earliest 
times. She makes it known indirectly, when she tells 
us that we are to interpret Scripture according to the 
analogy of faith ; that is, in such a way that our inter 
pretation shall be in harmony with her teaching upon all 
other points of Christian Doctrine. 

As to the unanimous assent of the Church, we may 
learn this from the writings of the Fathers, who, themselves 
were but exponents of the mind of the one living, divine 
Teacher. But in order to be bound by the interpretation 
of the Fathers, the Council of Trent tells us that that 
interpretation must be morally unanimous, and, moreover, 
on some point in connection with faith or morals. But, 

11, Does not the Church forbid the reading of the Bible? 

No ; not the reading, but the private interpretation, of 
tlie Bible is forbidden. 

The Scriptures contain, indeed, the revealed mysteries 
of divine faith. They are, undoubtedly, the most excellent 
of all writings. They are written by men inspired by 
God, and are not the words of men, but the infallible 
word of God, which can save our souls. (1 Thess. ii, 13 ; 
James i, 21.) But then they ought to be read, even by 
the learned, with the spirit of humility, and with a fear 
of mistaking their true sense, as many have in all ages. 
Monseigneur de Cheverus, in his sermons, often dwelt on 
the necessity of some teaching authority to render un 
wavering the faith of the learned as well as of the igno- 


rant. To convince Protestants of this necessity, he often 
repeated, in his discoiirses to them, these simple words : 
" Every day, my brethren, I read the holy Scripture like 
yourselves j I read it with reflection and prayer, having 
previously inv6ked the Hdly Ghost, and yet, at almost 
every page, I find many things that I cannot understand, 
and I find the great necessity of some speaking authority, 
which may point out to me the meaning of the text, and 
render my faith firm." And his hearers immediately 
made the application to themselves. " If Monseigneur 
de Cheverus," said they, "who is more learned than we, 
cannot comprehend the sacred Scripture, how is it that 
our ministers tell us that the Bible is to each of us a full 
and clear rule of faith, easily understood of itself, and 
requiring no aid in understanding its meaning T 7 Taking 
occasion from the admission that even the most learned 
cannot agree as to matters of faith, the zealous bishop 
pointed out how wisely God came to aid human weakness 
in the discovery of truth, by appointing a living, speaking 
authority, which, drawing its origin from Christ or his 
apostles, has descended down to us by an uninterrupted 
succession of pastors, professing, at all times and in all 
places, and without the least variation, the same holy 
doctrine as was taught and professed by the apostles. 

The Bible is, indeed, the book of books, or the best book. 
Hence the Church encourages the faithful to read the holy 
Scriptures j for, says Pope Pius VI, " they are the most 
abundant sources, which ought to be left open to every one, 
to draw from them purity of morals and of doctrine, to 
uproot the errors which are so widely spread in these 
corrupt times." To guard, however, the faithful against 
corrupted Bibles, and against erroneous interpretations, the 


chief pastors of the Church have decreed that, with regard 
to reading the Bible in the vernacular, we should have the 
learning and piety requisite for it, and that the translation 
should be approved by the Holy See, or acco mpamed with 
explanations by a bishop. The reading of the Bible will 
always be attended with great spiritual advantage, if it is 
read with becoming reverence, humility, and pious disposi 
tions. It is, then, false, utterly false, to say that the 
Catholic Church forbids us to read the Bible. We are 
not forbidden to read the Bible, but we are forbidden to 
interpret it according to our own whim, giving the word 
of God any meaning which we choose to give it. And, 

,12. Why doe^ the Church forbid the private interpre 
tation, of the Bible? 

Because numberless ^heresies have risen from the private 
interpretation of the Bible. 

From the time of the apostles to the present day, there 
have risen unlearned men, as well as men accomplished in 
every kind of learning, who undertook to interpret the 
Bible according to their own private opinions. The 
consequence was, that the ignorant were led into errors, 
for want of knowledge, and the learned, through pride 
and self-sufficiency. Instead of interpreting Scripture 
according to the teaching of the Church, and learning from 
her what they should believe, they have tried to teach the 
Church false and perverse doctrines of their own. They 
avail themselves of the Scriptures to prove their errors. 
They say that they have the Scriptures on their side, which 
are the fountain of truth. But these deluded men do not 
consider that the truth is found, not by reading, but by 
understanding, the holy Scriptures. This arrogance in 
interpreting the Bible according to their fa ncy proceeds 


from pride. But God resists the proud, and withholds 
from them the light of faith. In punishment for their 
pride and want of submission to the teaching of his 
Church, he permits such men to fall into all kinds of 
errors, absurdities, and vices ; he permits the holy Scrip 
tures, which are a great fountain of truth, to become to 
them a great fountain of errors. So that to them may 
be applied the words of our divine Saviour : " You err, 
not knowing the Scriptures " (Matt, xxii, 29) ; and of St. 
Peter : " They wrest the Scriptures to their own destru c- 
tion." (2 Pet. iii, 16.) 

The Adamites pretended to find in the book of Genesis 
that they were as pure as our first parents, and need not 
be ashamed of being naked any more than Adam and Eve 
before the fall. Arias pretended to find, in forty-two 
passages of the Bible, that the Son of God was not equal 
to the Father. Macedonius maintained that from holy 
Scripture he could prove that the Holy Ghost was not 
God ; and Pelagius asserted, on the authority of holy 
Scripture, that man could work out his salvation without 
the grace of God. Luther asserted that he found in Isaias 
that man was not free ; and Calvin tried to prove from 
Scripture that it is impossible for man to keep the com 
mandments. There is no error so monstrous, no crime so 
heinous, no practice so detestable, which perverse men have 
not endeavored to justify by some passage of Scripture. 
St. Augiistine asks, " Whence have risen heresies and 
those pernicious errors that lead men to everlasting perdi 
tion ? " and he answers : " They have risen from this : 
that men understand the Scriptures wrongly, and then 
maintain presumptuously and boldly what they thus under 
stand wrongly." (In Joan. tr. xviii.) Thus, " the Gospel," 


as St. Jerome observes, " is, for them, not the Gospel of 
Christ any longer, but the gospel of man, or of the oVvil : 
for the Gospel consists, not in the words, but in the sense, 
of Scripture, wherefore, by false interpretation, the Gospel 
of Christ becomes the gospel of man, or, of the devil. 77 
" My thoughts, saith the Lord, are not as your thoughts, 
neither are your ways my ways j for, as the heavens are 
exalted aboVe the earth, even so are my ways exalted 
aboVe your ways, and my thoughts above ^your thoughts. 7 
(Isa. 1, 8, 9.) Who, then, shall, by his private reason, pre 
tend to know, to judge, to demonstrate, to interpret, the 
unsearchable ways of God, and the incomprehensible, divine 
mysteries hidden in the holy Scripture ? " How can I 
understand it, if no one explains it to me ? 77 (Acts viii.) 

To sum up what has been said : In the olrder of time, 
the Catholic Church precedes the Scripture. There was 
no time when a visible and speaking divine authority did 
not exist, to which submission was not due. Before the 
coming of Je sus Christ, that authority among the Jews was 
in the synagogue. When the synagogue was on the point 
of failing, Jesus Christ himself appeared ; when this divine 
personage withdrew, he left his authority to his Church, 
and with her his Holy Spirit. All the truths which we 
believe to be divine, and which are the objects of our faith, 
were taught by the Church, and believed by millions of 
Christians, long before they were committed to writing, and 
formed what is called the New Testament. And those 
truths would have remained to the end of the world, pure 
and unaltered, had that primitive state continued j that is, 
had it never seemed good to any of the apostolic men, as 
it did to St. Luke, to commit to writing what they had 
learned from Christ. He did it ; he says, that Theophilus, 


to whom he writes, might know the verity of these words in 
which he had been instructed. 

A Catholic, therefore, never forms his faith by reading 
the Scriptures, his faith is already formed before he 
begins to read ; his reading serves only to confirm what he 
always believed : that is, it confirms the doctrine which the 
Church had already taught him. Consequently, if these 
books had not existed, the belief in the facts and truths of 
Christianity would have been the same ; and it would not 
be weakened if those books were no longer to exist. 

As the Catholic Church made known to the Chris 
tians those facts and truths long before they were recorded 
in writing, she alone could afterward rightly decide, and 
infallibly state, what books did, and what did not, contain 
the pure doctrine of Christ and his apostles ; she alone 
could and did know what books were, and what were not, 
divinely inspired j she alone could and did make that 
inspiration an object of faith ; she alone can, with infalli 
ble authority, give the true meaning, and determine the 
legitimate use, of the holy Scriptures. 

Although the Scripture, the true word of God, is not to 
us a ride of faith, taken independently of the teaching 
authority of the pastors of the Church, the successors of 
the apostles, yet it is not inferior to the Church in excel 
lence and dignity. It is inspired, holy, and divine. Hence, 
it is the custom of the Church to erect a throne in the 
middle of councils, on which she places the sacred books 
as presiding over the assembly, occupying, as it were, 
the first place, and deciding with supreme authority. When 
celebrating Mass, she wishes that the faithful, during the 
reading of the Gospel, should all rise, and remain stand 
ing, to show their reverence for the sacred truths. We 


venerate the Scriptures as a sacred deposit bequeathed to 
us by the kindest of parents, containing truths of the 
highest moment, practical lessons of saving morality, and 
facts of history relating to the^life of our divine SaViour, 
and the conduct of his disciples, eminently interesting 
and instructive. For all this we are very grateful. 

Besides, the Scriptures come forward with a powerful 
aid, to support, by the evidence of their contents, both the 
divine authority of the Church, and the divine truths of 
the faith which we have received from her, applying that 
aid to each article, and giving a lustre to the whole So 
Theo philus, when he read that admirable narration which 
St. Luke compiled for him, was more and more confirmed 
in the verity of tilings in which he had been instructed. 
(St. Luke i, 1-4.) 

For those, however, who reject the divine authority of 
the Church, the holy Scriptures can no longer be authentic 
and inspired writings they are for them no longer the 
word of God ; for they have no one who can tell them, with 
divine certainty, what books are, and what are not, 
divinely inspired ; they have no one who, in the name of God, 
can command them to believe in the divine inspiration of 
the writers of those books. Explaining them as they do, 
according to their fancy, and translating them in a way 
favorable to their errors, they have, in the Scriptures, not 
the Gospel of Christ, but that of man or the devil, calcu 
lated only to confirm the ignorant in their errors, and the 
learned in their pride and self-sufficiency. We read, in 
the Gospel of St. Matthew and of St. Luke, that Satan 
hid himself under the shade of the Scripture when he 
tempted our divine Saviour. He quoted passages from 
holy Scripture, in order to tempt him to ambition and 


presumption. But he is answered : " Begone, Satan j it 
is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Satan, 
being overcome, left for a time. But not long after, under 
the mask of Arius, Nestorius, Pelagius, Luther, Calvin, 
John Knox, Henry VIII, and a host of other heresiarchs, 
he renewed his attacks on Jesus Christ, in the person of 
the Catholic Church. This demon is heresy, which hides 
itself under the shade of Scripture. Were Satan to utter 
blasphemies, he would be known at once, and men would 
flee from him in horror. So he deceives them under 
the appearance of good j he repeats passages from holy 
Scripture, and men naturally listen to him, and are apt to 
believe and follow him. But the good Catholic answers 
him : " Begone, Satan ! It is written, He that will not 
hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and 
the publican." (Matt, xviii, 16.) This is the great, the 
infallible, and the .only rule of faith, that leads to him who 
gave it, Jesus Christ. 

The heretics and Catholics to whom St. Dominic 
preached the Gospel, put together in writing the strongest 
arguments in defence of their respective doctrines. The 
Catholic arguments were the work of St. Dominic, who 
confirmed the Catholic doctrine, by many passages of holy 
Scripture. The heretics, too, quoted holy Scripture in 
confirmation of their doctrine. It was proposed that both 
writings should be committed to the flames, in order that 
God might declare, by his own interposition, which cause 
he favored. Accordingly, a great fire was made, and the 
two writings were cast into it : that of the heretics was 
immediately consumed to ashes, whilst that of the Cath 
olics remained unhurt, after it had been cast into the fire 
three times, and taken out again. 


This public miracle happened at Fanjaux j the fruit of 
it was the conversion of a great number of heretics of both 
sexes. The same kind of miracle happened at Montreal. 
St. Dominic drew up in writing a short exposition of the 
Catholic faith, with proof of each article from the New 
Testament. This writing he gave to the heretics to exd!m- 
ine. Their ministers and chiefs, after much altercation 
about it, agreed to throw it into the fire, saying that, if it 
burned, they would regard the doctrine which it contained 
as false. Being cast thrice into the flames, it was not 

Let us unceasingly thank Almighty God for the grace 
of being children of the Catholic Church. St. Francis de 
Sales exclaims : " dear Lord I many and great are the 
blessings thou hast heaped on me, and I thank thee for 
them. But, how shall I be ever able to thank thee for 
enlightening me with thy holy faith ? O God I the beauty 
of thy holy faith appears to me so enchanting, that I am 
dying with love of it ; and I imagine I ought to enshrine 
this precious gift in a heart all perfumed with devotion. 77 
St. Teresa never ceased to thank God for having made 
her a daughter of the holy Catholic Church. Her conso 
lation at the hour of death was to cry out : " I die a child 
of the holy Church, I die a child of the holy Church." 




FOR love of man, God created the boundless universe, 
with its stars and countless worlds, and he made the uni 
verse, the temple of his endless love. The stars of heaven, 
as they sweep along in silent harmony, are ever singing a 
wondrous song, and the sweet burden of their song is, 
" God is love and truth. 7 

This world is the temple of God s love and truth. The 
green earth, with its flowers, is the carpeted floor. The 
clear sky above is the vaulted dome j its pillars are the 
mountains, white with eternal snow. The mists and vapor 
that are ever ascending, like the smoke of sacrifice, remind 
us of the thoughts of love and gratitude that should ever go 
up to heaven from our hearts. The whispering of the 
winds, the rush of the storm, the murmuring of the brook, 
and the roar of the cataract, are the music that raises our 
hearts to God. And when God had finished that won 
drous temple of his love, " He saw that it was good." 
(Gen. i, 25.) 

* Enough has been said to show that God teaches mankind through 
his Church. It would be proper now to explain what the Church 
teaches, beginning with the explanation of the Apostles Creed. But 
as many may wish to see in one volume the whole doctrine on the 
Church, it has been deemed advisable to place, in this volume, the 
t xplanation of the Ninth Article of the Creed. 


For love of man, God has raised a still more wondrous 
temple, the temple of his holy Church. Millions and 
millions of chosen souls have aided in building this wo n- 
drous temple. Its foundation was laid at the gates of 
paradise. The patriarchs and prophets have labored at 
it, through the long ages of hope and expectation. It was 
completed, in the fulness of time, by the Only-Begotten of 
the Father, our Lord Jesus Christ. This temple of love 
was consecrated by the Holy Ghost on that wonderful day 
of love, the Feast of Pentecost. The summit of this 
glorious temple of love now rises to the highest heavens, 
and to the throne of the living God himself. In its depth, 
it reaches to that region of suffering where those are 
detained who are to be cleansed from all stain, before 
entering into the joys of heaven. In its width, it extends 
over all the earth, and shuts out no one who is willing to 
enter its portals. In this new creation, far more than in 
the old, God looks on those things that he made, and sees 
that they are " very good" What God does, is done well 
is a perfect work. The establishment of the Catholic 
Church is the grand work of his power ; it is the greatest 
fact in history, a fact so great, that there would be no 
history without it ; a fact permanent, entering into the 
concerns of all nations on the face of the earth, appearing 
again and again on the records of time, and benefiting, 
perceived or unperceived, directly or indirectly, socially, 
morally, and supernaturally, every member of the human 

From the beginning of the world God always had but 
one Church to teach his religion toymen, and lead them to 
heaven ; Satan, too, from the beginning, has tried to have 
a church and a worship of his own. He found followers 


among the angels to refuse submission to God s holy will. 
Need we wonder at seeing him find followers among men I 
As the faithful servants of God are known and distin 
guished by their ready obedience to the divine authority 
of the Catholic Church, so those who are deceived by 
Satan are known by their want of submission to the 
divine authority of the Church. They form churches of 
their own, in opposition to the true Church of God. In 
the ninth century, the Greeks separated from the Roman 
Catholic Church, and formed a church of their own, called 
the Greek Church. In the beginning of the sixteenth 
ce ntury, Martin Luther, an apostate friar, preached a 
doctrine of his own ; he gained many followers in Ger 
many, who left the Catholic Church, and formed what is 
called and known as the Lutheran, or Protestant, Church. 
In 1531, Henry VIII, King of England, fell away from 
the Catholic Church, and made himself the supreme head 
of the English, or Anglican, Church. These, and other 
churches, are the work of man. No doubt, every one who 
is acquainted with the life of our Lord and is asked : 

1. How many churches did Christ establish ? 

Will answer : Christ established but one cliurcli. 

Indeed, as there is but one Christ, so there is, and can 
be, but one Church of Christ. The Church is called the 
body of Christ. Now, as Christ has but one body, so he 
can have but one Church. Christ himself tells us plainly 
that he established but one Church. He did not say to 
St. PeW, Upbn thee I will build my churches : he said, 
" Upon thee I will build my Church." He never said, 
The gates of hell shall not prevail against my churches j 
he said, u The gates of hell shall not prevail against my 
Church." In fact ; that our Lord established but one 


Church, is self-evident ; it needs no proof. We are as 
certain of it as we are that there is but one God. St. 
Paul asserts this in the clearest terms : " One Lord, one 
faith, one baptism ; " that is, as there is, and can be, but 
one Lord, so there is, and can be, but one faith, one 
religion, one Church. And as our Lord established but 
one Church, it follows, necessarily, that all other churches 
are not the work of Jesus Christ. They are the work of 
man ; the Church of Christ, the Catholic Church, alone is 
the work of God. 

All the works of God have something divine and 
supernatural about them, something that at once proclaims 
their divine origin ; something that distinguishes them, in 
an unmistakable manner, from the works of man. As the 
Catholic Church is the work of God, she has something 
about her to show that she is from God j she has marks 
graven on her which make it impossible for one to be mis 
taken about her being the true Church of Christ 5 she has 
the most incontestable proofs of her divine mission and 
authority, to convince all who wish to be convinced. 

2. By what marks is the Church of Christ easily known ? 
By these four : The Church of Christ is: 1, one; 2, 
she is holy ; 3, she is Catholic ; and, 4, she is apostolic, 

Above all, perfect unity must be found in the Church 
of Christ ; for Christ calls his Church a " building," a 
"kingdom," a "city," a "flock," a "house," a " b6dy." 
In order to establish, insure, and preserve unity, he made 
St. Peter the foundation of the building, the chief ruler 
of the kingdom, the key-holder of the city and house, the 
principal shepherd of the flock, the head of the body. 
And on the eve of his passion, Christ asked for a unity in 
Lis Church, like that which unites the three divine persons 


in one and the same nature : " Father," he prayed, " keep 
them whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, 
even as we are one." (John xvii, 11.) Moreover, he 
prayed that this union might last forever, and that it 
should be the distinctive mark of his Church : " I pray, 
also," he says, "for all those who, through their word, shall 
believe in me, that they may all be one, as thou, Father, in 
me, arid I in thee, that the world may believe that thou 
hast sent me." (John xx, 21.) The ap6stles express very 
clearly the necessity of unity, and show that it is a 
distinctive mark of the true Church : "Be careful," 
says St. Paul, "to keep the unity of the spirit in the 
bond of peace. One body and one spirit, one Lord, one 
faith, one baptism." 

tfnity, then, is a distinctive mark, and an essential condi 
tion of the Church of Christ. That Church which has no 
unity, caWot be the true Church \ and that Church which 
has unity, must certainly be divine. 

In the Church of Christ holiness also must be found, no 
less than unity. Christ shed his blood for no other purpose 
than to form for himself, says St. Paul, a pure Church, 
"without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; that it 
should be holy and without blemish." (Eph. v, 25.) 
Moreover, as the Church of Christ teaches the true faith, 
holiness must be the result of this faith, since Christ says : 
" A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit." (Matt. vii,18.) 
According to Christ s promise, miracles will be performed 
by the true believers of his Church, and bear " witness to 
her holiness." (Mark xvi, 17.) 

The Church, however, is not composed of the elect 
alone, for Christ compares her to a net which draws out of 
the sea "good and bad fish" (Matt, xiii, 47); to a, field 


where the cockle grows together with the wheat, until the 
day of the harvest. (Matt, xiii, 30.) 

Again, during his public life, Christ declared repeatedly 
that his unalterable purpose was to unite, in one religious 
society, all mankind, of every age and clime, and afford 
his followers the means to free themselves from sin, and 
become reconciled to God ; to grow in purity and holiness 
of life, and thus enter into life everlasting. He spoke 
always and everywhere, in language most clear and ex 
plicit, of this note of universality, as one peculiar to his 
kingdom. (John x, 16; Matt, xxviii, 19.) All the pro 
phecies relative to the Messiah spoke of the whole human 
race as the flock of Christ, whose kingdom was to extend its 
bounds " till it embraced all pagan nations." (Matt, xv, 24 ; 
Ps. cix, 2.) Christ s Church, therefore, must be Catholic, 
or universal. 

Finally, Christ has most solemnly promised to be with 
his apostles to the end of the world, and he has made 
St. Peter the first Bishop of Rome, the foundation of the 
Church, and her supreme head. Christ s Church, theVe- 
fore, must be apostolic. Holy Scripture itself gives us 
this full information about the marks of the true Church 
of Christ. And if it is asked : 

3. Which Church is one, holy, Catholic and apostolic I 

The answer is: The Roman Catholic Church aUne is 
one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic. 

It is easy to 

4. Show how the Catholic Church is one. 

The Catholic Church is one, because all her members are 
united : 1, in one faith ; 2, in one worship ; 3, under one 
infallible head. 

CREED. 157 

1. The Catholic Church is one, because all her members 
are united in one faith. 

Unity is especially divine. It exists in its perfection 
only in the adorable Trinity. Wherever we find unity in 
created things, we may be sure that it is an image and 
reflection of God. Now, in this world, there is one society, 
and only one, in which unity has always existed, and has 
neVer been broken. This society is the Catholic Church. 
This society is the most numerous, the first, and the most 
ancient of all the communities that call themselves Chris 
tian. The Catholic Church is found in all kingdoms and 
states 5 it reaches from pole to pole, from east to west ; 
embraces all ranks and classes of men. The members of 
the Catholic Church differ from one another in their 
character, in their education, in their modes of thought ~ 
they differ in their language, in their habits of life, iu 
their sympathies and prejudices; in a word, they diffe/ 
from one another in everything that distinguishes ma.a 
from man. But in one thing they are all united : in relig 
ion. In religion, alone, they are all of one mind and ox^e 
heart. In this wonderful society you will find t le 
passionate Italian, with his glowing imagination ; you v ill 
find, also, the stolid and tenacious Englishman ; the lively 
and brilliant Frenchman ; and the quiet, thoughtful German. 
You will find there the stately Spaniard ; the witty, impul 
sive Irishman, and the acute and practical American. All 
these, and so many other races, though they contiast 
violently with one another in every natural gift and 
habit ; though they retain all their distinctive peculiarities 
as men and citizens, yet in religion they are all one abso 
lutely one. Throughout the whole Catholic world, the 
myriads of every nation, climate, and language, nobles 


and peasants, monarchs and slaves, philosophers and little 
children, there exists a unity of faith and doctrine, so 
divine and absolute, so spontaneous and yet so perfect, so 
unshackled and yet so complete, that a cardinal in Rome 
or a neophyte in China, a mathematician in Holland or a 
wood-cutter in Syria, or a little child anywhere, would give, 
in substance, the same answer to any question updn a ny 
doctrine of the Church. 

2. When their children are born, all bring them to be 
regenerated in the same waters of baptism. When they 
become unfaithful to their baptismal vows, and sin against 
God s commandments, they all have recourse to the same 
tribunal of penance. They all seek strength at the same 
eucharistic table, and, animated by the same faith, they 
receive truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ. In 
sickness, when they are about to appear before their God, 
they all send for the priest of the Church, and receive 
the sacrament of Extreme Unction. They all are one, 
not only in faith, but also in worship. 

And what more natural than this oneness in worship f 
Christ, who taught us our religion, has also taught us how 
to worship his heavenly Father in a manner worthy of his 
divine majesty. He instituted the holy sacrifice of the 
Mass, iii which he is at once the High-Priest and the Victim* 
Through the hands of his priests he offers himself for us 
to his heavenly Father as a sacrifice of adoration, of 
thanksgiving, of atonement, and of impetration. Since 
the institution of the Mass, paradise blooms again, the 
heavens are purple, the angels shine in white, and men 
are exhilarated. This sublime and profound mystery, 
which scandalizes obstinate unbelievers, and arouses the 
pride of Protestants, is ; neVertheless, that which renews 


the face of the earth, satisfies the justice of God. redeems 
man unto salvation, opens heaven, sanctifies the world, 
and disarms hell. It is this mfstery^ which has engen 
dered a more holy religion, a more spiritual worship, and 
a purer virtue among men, because it is more interior j 
from it spring the most efficacious sacrament, more 
abundant graces, more sublime ceremonies, more perfect 
laws ; it is that tender adoption of men, as children of 
God, substituted for the more ancient alliance between 
God and man, which was founded upon fear. This mystery 
is the striking manifestation of all truths, and the censure 
of all errors : all vices find their condemnation therein, 
all virtues their principle, all merits their recompense ; it 
is, in short, the foundation of faith, the support of hope, 
and the most powerful motive for the love of God. 

The holy Mass is the sun of Christianity, and the sum 
mary of all that is grand, and magnificent, and most pro 
digious, both in the triumphant and in the militant Church 
of God. The angels almost envy us this divine sacrifice. 
Protestants and infidels may say, with a sneer, that it is 
the pomp and glitter of our ceremonies and altars that 
draw the faithful to the church. Not so. The fickle nature 
of man cannot be charmed long by such transitory things. 
Our altars, indeed, we adorn, we decorate our churches, 
we embellish the priestly vestments, we display the g6r- 
geous ceremonies of the Church, but not to attract the 
people ; we do all this simply because our Lord Je^us Christ 
is present there, our Saviour and our God, surrounded 
by countless myriads of angels. This is the grand source 
of the magnificence of our architecture, the gorgeousness 
of our vestments, the diversity of our Ornaments, the 
sound of our organs, the religious harmony of our voices, 


and the grandeur and order of all our ceremonies, both in 
the consecration and dedication of our churches, and the 
solemn celebration of the Mass. 

This is the reason why we adorn ourselves with our 
. gayest attire, why we rifle the gardens of their sweetest 
and choicest flowers to decorate our altars, and scatter them 
in lavish profusion before the feet of our sacramental King. 
This is the reason why our sacred altars glitter and sparkle 
with cheerful lights, while clouds of sweet-smelling incense 
float up and around the sacred Victim. 

It is related of Frederick II, King of Prussia, that, after 
having assisted at a solemn high Mass, celebrated in the 
church of Breslau by Cardinal Tringendorf, he remarked : 
" The Calvinists treat God as an inferior, the Lutherans 
treat him as an equal, but the Catholics treat him as God." 
Yes, indeed ; it is only the Catholic Church that is the home 
for our dear Saviour. His presence fills her halls to over 
flowing with joy and gladness. Her propitiatory altars are 
the anchors of hope for the sinner j her sanctuaries, the 
antechambers of heaven. Take away the blessed sacra 
ment, and you take away her Saviour. Give her the blessed 
sacrament, and you give her a glory, an honor, a triumph, 
the greatest possible this side of paradise. Her altars are 
the altars of joy, because they are the altars of the saving 
Victim for the sins of the world ; for which reason the robed 
priest begins the tremendous sacrifice with the antiphon : 
"I will go unto the altar of God, to God who rejoiceth my 
youth. 7 

This sacrifice of adoration, of thanksgiving, of atone 
ment, and of impetration, is offered up daily, nay, hourly, 
all over the world. To it come the simple peasant from 
his woods ; the shepherd from the mountains; the man of 


business, the solemn religious, the devout student, the 
holy recluse, the laboring youth, the innocent child, with 
its baptismal robe unsullied, the penitent sinner who has 
atoned, or who is atoning, for having stained the purity of 
his soul : all, all draw grace and strength, and consola 
tion and virtue, from this ever-flowing fountain of spiritual 
riches, in proportion to the measure of their faith, confi 
dence, fervor, and devotion. To this fountain of healing 
water the poor walk free and favored, as in presence of 
nature f they can approach it as nearly as kings, and can 
enjoy equally the splendor and loveliness of the altar of God. 
Here ends the land of malediction. Here God is before 
all, and all are before God ; his children, his creatures 
nothing more, nothing less all alike in this. No one 
marshals you, no one heeds you ; here you may kneel and 
weep in secret, or lie prostrate before the Good Shepherd 
and the Lamb of God, in the blessed sacrament ; here 
each sun that rises will find you more consoled, with 
healthier looks, less pale ; here the workings of an uneasy 
conscience are soothed and made straight j or rather, here 
it is that you find time and opportunity for reconciliation 
with God. 

Here the poor sinner is assisted to enter upon the way 
of salvation j here he is supplied with that living water, 
of which those who drink shall never more feel thirst ; 
here we find the female sex, gifted with great faith and 
ardent devotion, turning their hearts to the Catholic altar, 
whether in joy or sorrow, in sickness or in health, like 
the innocent child, who always runs thither for help where 
he trusts most ; here the poor pilgrim, wearied with 
fatigue, kneels down on the altar-steps, to thank Him who 
has watched over him during a long and perilous journey; 


here a distracted mother comes into the temple to pray 
for the recovery of her son, whom the physicians have 
given over ; here God is our Father, the angels and saints 
our friends. 

O how glorious, how sublime, is the worship of the 
Catholic Church, as she celebrates daily, hourly, the tri 
umphal march of the Prince of Peace around the world 
which he has redeemed ! Hour after hour, in all parts 
of the world, the solemn anthems of Catholic worship roll 
heavenward, like " the noise of many waters." Mirrate 
after minute, hour after hour, day after day, month aYter 
month, year after year, and century after century, the 
glorious anthems of the Catholic Church have rolled on 
unbroken through the long lapse of eighteen hundred 
changeful, fleeting years. The unnumbered voices of 
every age, and sex, and rank, which have sounded from 
that hour when the angelic harmonies charmed the midnight 
air of Bethlehem, even to this very moment, all seem 
borne to our ears in one overpowering flood of sweetest, 
heavenliest harmony. 

3. Tfye Catholic Church is one, because all her members 
are united under one infallible head. 

Yes j more than two hundred millions of Christians 
venerate and obey the Holy Father, Pope Pius IX, as the 
successor of St. Peter, the supreme, earthly chief of the 
immortal Church of Jesus Christ ; the father of souls ; the 
guide of consciences ; the sovereign judge of the religious 
interests of humanity ; the head of Catholic Christendom ; 
the mouth of Christ s Church, ever living and Open to teach 
the universe ; the centre of Christian faith and unity j 
the light of truth, kindled to illuminate the world; the 
adamantine base of a divine edifice, which the powers 

CREED. 163 

of darknes.3 can never shake ; the corner-stone upon which 
the city of God here below reposes j the prince of priests, 
the father of fathers, the heir of apostles j a greater 
patriarch than Abraham, greater than Melchisedech in 
priesthood, than Moses in authority, than Samuel in juris 
diction ; in a word, Peter in power, Christ by unction, 
pastor of pastors, guide of guides, the cardinal joint of 
all the churches, the keystone of the Catholic arch, the 
impregnable citadel of the communion of the children of 
God. Were the holy Pontiff, Pius IX, permitted to go 
abroad amid his children, every knee would bend before 
him, in token of cheerful obedience j every voice would 
salute him, in proof of the deepest veneration, and every 
tongue would bless him with untold affection ; head and 
body, ruler and subjects, the shepherd and the flock, the 
Sovereign Pontiff and the people, would be seen to be one 
heart and one soul. All Catholics live in the heart of the 
Father of the Faithful j and he lives in the hearts of all 
Catholics, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of truth, abiding with 
them, and uniting them all in one faith, in one worship, 
and under one head : u Therefore," says St. Jerome, u was 
one of the twelve set over all the others as the recognized 
head, in order that all occasion of schism might be 
removed." (Opp. T. ii, p. 279.) 

This miracle of unity of human minds and hearts in all 
things has been perpetuated, from age to age, in a world 
where everything else is changing, and is perpetuated 
silently and peacefully, without effort and without con 
straint. So irresistible is the mysterious power that thus 
joins together so many human hearts, that even the convert 
of yesterday, whether he lives in the very centre of Euro 
pean civilization, or amid the savage tribes of Africa, feels 


already the sweet spell upon him, and finds his heart beiting 
in unison with the great heart of the Church, as if he had 
been suckled at her breast, and had lain in her bosom from 

In the whole history of the human race there is no 
record of any such miracle as this. Even were all the 
dead to rise from their graves, and to crowd our streets and 
thoroughfares, it would not be a greater miracle. Like 
the Jews of old, the men of the present generation "desire 
a sign," in order that they may believe ; and now here is 
a sign, a standing miracle, more luminous, more dazzling, 
than the noonday sun. " Truly the finger of God is here. 7 

One day a certain Protestant of Pennsylvania came to 
Archbishop Kenrick, of Baltimore, to tell him that he 
wished to become a Catholic. " What induced you," asked 
the archbishop, " to take this step ?" " The bugs, the 
bugs !" he replied. " What do you mean by that ?" "I have 
often noticed," said he, u how in nature animals follow 
their leader, and are kept united together by him. The 
same must be true in religion : only that one can be of 
divine origin which has a leader whom all are bound to 
follow. As I find this only in the Catholic Church, I feel 
convinced that she is the true Church, in which alone I can 
be saved." If St. Paul could say to the heathens, " You 
might have found out the true God by his works, if you 
had cared to do so," surely God may say, in the great day, 
to the children out of the Catholic Church : a You might 
have known the true Church by her unity, if you had 
not closed your eyes." 

The next mark by which Christ wished his Church to 
be distinguished is that of holiness. But, in speaking of 
the holiness of the Catholic Church, we do not mean to ay 

CREED. 165 

that every member of the Church is holy. The field of 
the Church is wide, and has weeds as well as wheat. In 
the very company chosen by our Lord Jesus Christ him 
self, there was a Peter who denied him, and a Judas who 
betrayed him. So it is at the present day, So it will be 
to the end of time. Should, then, any one ask : 

5, Show how the Catholic Church is holy ? 

We answer : The Catholic Church is holy : 1. in Jesus 
Christ, her Founder ; 2, in her doctrine, which is Christ s 
doctrine; 3, in her means of grace, the proper use of which 
makes us h6ly t ; 4, in many of her members, whose holiness 
has been confirmed ~by miracles and extraordinary gifts. 

1. The Catholic Church is holy in her Founder, who is 
our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. But what mind 
of man or angel can conceive the greatness of the holiness 
of Jesus Christ, which is, indeed, infinite ? To say that his 
h61iness is greater than that of all the saints and angels 
united, is to fall infinitely below it. Jesus Christ, as God, 
is infinite holiness itself, and the sum of our conception of 
holiness is but the smallest atom of the holiness of God. 
David, contemplating the divine holiness, and seeing that 
he could not, and never would, be able to comprehend it, 
could cmly exclaim : " Lord ! who is like unto thee f r 
(Ps. xxxiv, 10.) Lord! what holiness shall ever be found 
like to thine ? It is an utter impossibility for any human 
or angelic understanding to conceive an adequate idea of 
the holiness of Christ. All we can say is, that his holiness 
is infinite. The Catholic Church, then, is holy in her 
divine Founder. 

2. The Catholic Church is also holy in her doctrine, which 
is the doctrine of Christ and his holy apostles, and his doc 
trine is the expression of the will of his heavenly Father : 


" My doctrine is not mine, but of him that sent me." (John 
vii, 16.) As the will of God is most holy, so also the do y c- 
trine expressing the holy will of God must be most holy. 
Hence, the book containing the word of God is called 
the holy Bible, or holy Scripture. Every action and every 
word of our Saviour breathes holiness, inspires holiness, 
and leads to holiness. Therefore he calls those blessed who 
learn his doctrine : " Blessed are your ears, because they 
hear. For, fwnen I say to you, many prophets and just 
men have desired to hear the things that you hear, and 
have not heard them. 7 (Matt, xiii, 16.) Hence, all those 
who live up to this doctrine are called saints : " You are 
a chosen generatio n a holy nation/ 7 says St. Peter of 
the Christians. (1 Pet. ii, 9.) 

The very enemies of the Catholic Church bear witness 
to the holiness of her doctrine. Why have so many fallen 
away from her faith ? It is because they had not courage 
enough to live up to her holy precepts. Why is it that so 
many do not embrace the Catholic faith who know that 
the Catholic Church is the only true Church of Christ? 
It is because they are afraid of her holy morals. Even 
the most wicked feel naturally convinced that the Catholic 
religion is holy : a fault in a Catholic is considered, and 
considered rightly, more grave than in one who is not 
a Catholic. 

3. The Church is holy in her means of grace. It is her 
office to make men holy. She holds out to her children 
not only the holy example and doctrine of her divine 
Founder as the pathway to holiness, she also offers to 
them the means of grace, which enable them to live up 
to her holy doctrine. By his divine example and holy 
doctrine Christ showed us the narrow road that leads to 


heaven. But what would it avail us to know the road 
to heaven, if we had no strength to walk on that strait, 
and, to fallen humanity, hard road 1 This strength we have 
not of ourselves. God is the greatest supernatural good. 
We can, then, acquire this good only by supernatural 
strength, that is, by the help of Almighty God. By his 
sufferings and death, Christ obtained for us all the graces 
necessary to live up to his holv doctrine, to overcome all 
the evil inclinations of fallen nature, all the temptations, all 
the trials and struggles of life. These graces he wished 
to be applied to our souls by means of the sacraments 
and prayer, and he appointed his Church to sanctify her 
children by these means of grace. 

The child is born in sin ; the Church cleanses it in 
baptism, and makes it a child of God. The child is weak ; 
the Church strengthens it in confirmation, makes it a 
brave soldier, to battle with the world, the flesh, and the 
devil. The child is wounded, falls into sin ; the Church, 
like the good physician, probes the wounds, and pours into 
the bleeding heart the oil and wine of hope and consolation, 
in the sacrament of penance. The child is hungry and 
weary ; the Church feeds it with heavenly food, nour 
ishes and refreshes it with the precious body and blood of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. The heart of the young man feels 
the fire of that love which first came from God, and which 
has become unholy only by abuse j and the Church, like a 
fond mother, sanctifies and preserves this natural love of 
the bridegroom and the bride. In the holy sacrament of 
marriage she blesses this love before the altar of God, and 
declares its bonds perpetual. And should the heart of 
the young man aspire to a higher and holier destiny ; 
should he desire, in his inmost soul, to soar high above the 


weakening tenderness of mere human lovej should he 
desire to become the saviour of his fellow-men, the codper- 
ator with God himself in the great work of redemption, 
the holy Church leads him by the hand, she " blesses, 
sanctifies, and consecrates " him before the altar of God ; 
she makes him a priest forever, a priest of the Most 
High God. 

At last, when her child is dying, the holy Catholic 
Church comes to his bedside with sanctifying oil and the 
prayer of faith ; she administers to him the sacrament of 
Extreme Unction, to strengthen and console him in his 
fearful death-struggle. But her love does not end at the 
bed of death. She opens wide the doors of her temple ; 
she offers an asylum even to the dead body of her child. 
She blesses that body which was once the temple of the 
living God, and she even consecrates the very ground in 
which that body is laid to rest. 

The love of the Church for her children does not pause 
even at the grave. Day after day she offers up her 
prayers ; day after day she offers up the holy sacrifice of 
the altar for the souls of her children departed. The 
husband may forget the wife of his bo som, the mother may 
forget the child of her heart, but the holy Church does not 
forget her children, not even in death : her love is divine, 
it is eternal. And in this love the Church is impartial : 
she is just to all. As the holy spouse of Christ, she loves 
justice and hates iniquity. She lias spurned the anointed 
king from the temple of God, until he repented of his crime ; 
and on the head of the lowly monk, who spent his days 
in labor and prayer, she has placed the triple crown. 

At one moment she bathes with baptismal dew the 
peasant s child ; and at another, she boldly confronts the 

CREED. 169 

imperial might that dares assail her holy altar. Now the 
Church is accused of despotism, because she upholds the 
rights of lawful authority ; and again, she is accused of 
aVrogance, because she dares to protect the poor, the down 
trodden, and the friendless. 

She blesses all things that are good in this world j she 
protects and encourages the fine arts. Truth is the essence 
of order, the essence of beauty. Religious truth is heavenly 
order, is supernatural beauty. The Church is the living 
spouse of heavenly truth ; she must, therefore, be the friend, 
the protector, of all beauty and order, and so she has proved 
to be for over eighteen hundred years. 

In the Church, all that is good and beautiful in art or 
nature has been purified as in a heavenly crucible, and 
consecrated to the service of religion. The poet seeks to 
please the imaginations of men, and the Church unfolds 
before him the annals of Christianity. She tells him of 
the august sacrifice of infinite love, which is her soul and 
life, and she tells him of her heroic sufferings, of her 
martyr faith ; and the poet draws holy inspiration from 
these touching records, and incites men to a higher, to 
a holier life. 

The painter and the sculptor seek to place before our 
eyes the happiest, the most sublime of conceptions j and 
the Church bids them look into her treasure-house, where 
they find the most perfect models of every virtue, 
models of pure, of noble, of heroic self-sacrifice. 

The architect seeks to build up a monument of strength, 
and intellect, and beauty ; and the Church unlocks for him 
the sublime, mysterious meanings of her ceremonies and 
symbols. Guided by her inspiration, he teaches the life 
less stone, he teaches the spreading arch, the pointed spire, 


to speak to men of faith, of hope, of love ; he teaches them 
to speak of prayer, of sacrifice, of heaven. 

The orator strives to nerve men for the solemn duties, 
the grand conflicts of life ; the Church of Christ, touches 
his lips with living fire from the altar, and his eloquence 
flows on in an impetuous stream of " thoughts that breathe, 
and words that burn." 

The musician seeks to weave his entrancing spells 
around ear, and heart, and soul ; and the Church breathes 
into his soul the glorious, wondrous melodies which she 
has borrowed from the angels of heaven, and her music 
seems like beatific worship, and the worship on earth like 
beatific music. 

4. The Church is holy in many of her members. 
What is more natural than this ? A mother that teaches 
her children so holy a doctrine, sets before them con 
stantly the example of her divine Founder, that they 
may live and die as he did. A mother that has such 
powerful means to sanctify her children, cannot but be 
holy in the fruits of sanctity, in the saints, and in the 
sacred institutions which she has produced. 

To be convinced of the personal sanctity of millions of 
her children, we have but to ({pen the annals of Church 
history. ^ There we read of thousands of men and woVen 
who fulfilled the spying of Christ : " Whosodver shall lose 
his life for my sake and the Gospel, shall save it." (Mark 
viii, 35.) Such was the havoc made during the eaVly 
persecutions of the Church, that her martyrs alone amount 
to thirty thousand for every day in the year. 

How many thousands of the children of the Church 
followed that spying of the Lord : " If thou wilt be perfect, 
go, sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and come, 


Mow me!" (Matt, xix, 21.) And, "Every one that 
hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, 
or wife, or children, or lands, for my name s sake, shall 
receive a hundred-fold, and shall possess life everlasting. - 
(Matt, xix, 29.) Astonishing, indeed, is the number of 
those who have followed this saying of our Lord, by em 
bracing the religious life. 

St. Athanasius writes that in his time there were 
monasteries like tabernacles, full of heavenly choirs of 
people, who spent their time in singing psalms, in reading 
and pralying 5 that they occupied a large extent of land, 
and made, as it were, a town among themselves. Such 
immense numbers resorted to the religious life in Palestine, 
that Isidore was the superior of one thousand monks, and 
his successor, Apollonius, of five thousand in the same 
monastery. In the cloistered community of Oryrynchus 
there were ten thousand monks. Upon a hill in Nitria, about 
twenty miles from Alexandria, there were five hundred 
monasteries under one superior. Palladius relates that 
he saw a city in which there were more monasteries than 
houses of seculars, " so that, every street and corner 
ringing with the divine praises, the whole city seemed a 
church." He also testifies to having seen multitudes of 
monks in Memphis and Babylon, and that not far from. 
Thebes he met with a Father of three thousand monks. 
St. Pachomius, who lived about three hundred years after 
Christ, had seven thousand disciples, besides one thousand 
in his own house 5 and Serapion had ten thousand monks 
under his jurisdiction. 

Theodoret records that there were also multitudes of relig 
ious women throughout the East, in Palestine, Egypt, Asia, 
Pontus, Cilfcia, Syria, and also in Europe : " Since our 


Saviour," he says, "was born of a Virgin Mother, the 
fields of holy virgins are Everywhere multiplied." 

Nor was the great increase of religious houses confined 
to the early ages of the Church, for Trithemius, who died 
about the year 1516, says that, in his time, the pro vince 
of Ments alone contained one hundred and twenty-four 
abbeys ; and that there was a time when they had fifteen 
thousand abbeys, besides priories and other small monas 
teries, belonging to his order. 

f St. Bernard, in his Life of St. Malachy, records that, in 
Ireland, there was a monastery out of which many tho u- 
sands of monks had come forth : " A holy place indeed," 
he says, " and fruitful in saints, bringing forth abundant 
fruit to God, insomuch that one man alone of that ho ly 
congregation, whose name was Luanus, is reported to 
have been the founder of one hundred monasteries. And 
these swarms of saints have not only spread themselves 
in Ireland and Scotland, but have also gone into foreign 
parts ; for St. Columba, coming from thence into France, 
built the monastery of Luxovium, and raised there^a 
great people, their number being so great that the divine 
praises were sung by them day and night without inter 
mission. St. Columba founded one hundred monasteries, 
of which thirty-seven were in Ireland, a country which 
was, for centuries, known all over Europe as the Island 
of Saints and of Doctors." According to Archdall, there 
were in Ireland seven hundred and forty-two religious 

St. Bernard, in the space of thirtv years that he was 
abbot, founded one hundred and sixty monasteries. So 
rapid was the progress of his order that, in the space of 
fifty years from its establishment, it had acquired five 


hundred abbeys j and at one time no fewer than eight 
hundred were dependent on Clairvaux. 

The Franciscans seem to have been particularly blessed 
in the speedy and extensive propagation of their order/ 
for, about the year 1600, one branch of this order, called 
the Observantines, is said to have numbered one hundred 
thousand members. This order reckons at present two 
hundred thousand men and three hundred thousand sisters, 
including the tertiaries. It posse sses two hundred and 
fifty-two provinces and twenty-six thousand convents, of 
which five are in Palestine, and over thirty in Turkey. 
More than eighty-nine emperors, kings and queens have 
been admitted into the order, which has, moreover, the 
glory of having furnished three thousand saints, or beati 
fied persons, of whom seventeen hundred are martyrs. 

Nor is the Church less holy in many of her members, 
in our day. Who really takes Christian care of the poor, 
the sick, and the friendless, but the Catholic Church ? 
She has founded such orders as the Sisters of Charity, the 
Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of St. Joseph, and so many 
others, in order to administer to their wants. 

Where can you find, outside of the Catholic Church, 
that young and beautiful virgin, who lays at the foot of 
the cross her youth, her wealth, and her beauty ; who 
sacrifices all earthly hope and love, to spend her days in 
a loathsome hospital, and to watch, during the long, dull 
night, by the bedside of the sick and dying ? The charita 
ble, heroic deeds of these holy virgins have already brought 
conviction to the minds and hearts of many non-Catholics. 

St. John the Evangelist tells us that our Saviour cured 
one day a young man who had been born blind. The 
Pharisees heard of this, and were filled with rage and 


envy. They took the young man aside, and said to him : 
" Give glory to God 5 that man that cured you is a sinner." 
" Well," said the young man, " whether he be a sinner or 
not, I cannot say. But one thing I do know, and that is, 
that he has cured me. God does not hear sinners. If 
this man were not from God, he could not do such things." 
(John ix.) This was the argument of the young man in 
the Gospel; this, too, is the simple argument of every 
honest non-Catholic. The bigots and Protestant preachers 
say to the returned soldier, to the young man who has 
just come forth from the hospital where he suffered during 
a long and pdinful illness: " The Catholic Church is 
sinful and corrupt." " Well/ 7 the young man answers, 
" whether she is corrupt or not, I do not know j but one 
thing I do know, and that is, that I was at the point of 
death, and now I am well : and I owe it, after God, to the 
good Sisters of the Catholic Church. They waited on me in 
the hospital, in the battle-field j they nursed me as tenderly 
as a mother or a sister could have done : and they did it 
without pay? without any human motive or reward. Now, 
a bad tree cannot bring forth such good fruit. If the 
Catholic Church were as sinful and corrupt as you say, 
God would not give her children such heroic devotedness." 
Behold, again, the holy charity of the Catholic Church 
toward the very outcasts of society, those poor, fallen 
creatures, that have become the dishonor of their sex ! 
See how closely she imitates her divine spouse, our Lord 
Jesus Christ ! Jesus is present at a great feast. A poor, 
sinful woman, notorious on account of her wicked life, 
falls prostrate at his feet. She washes his feet with her 
tears, and wipes them with her hair. The Pharisees are 
shocked and scandalized. They say in their hearts: 


" This man is no prophet ; if he were a prophet, he would 
know what kind of a woman that is who kneels at his 
feet ; he would spurn her from him." But Jesus knows 
well the sinful life of Magdalen, and yet he does not 
reject her. On the contrary, he defends her before them 
all, and says to her: "My child, go in peace, thy sins 
are forgiven thee ! " 

Ah, how full of mercy and compassion is the heart of 
Je sus Christ ! Now look upon his spouse, the holy Cath 
olic Church, and see if she is not worthy of her heavenly 
Bridegroom ! The unfortunate woinan whom many have 
helped to drag into destruction, has not now a hand 
stretched out to save her. The world that allured and 
ruined her despises her, and laughs her to scorn. The 
proud, self-righteous Pharisee turns away from her in horror 
and disgust. The grace of God at last touches her heart. 
She sees herself abandoned by all, she turns her despair 
ing eyes to God. Friendless, homeless, and alone, she 
wanders through the dark by-ways of this valley of tears 
till at last she stands at the ever-open portals of the holy 
Ca tholic Church. She enters, she falls at the feet of the 
priest of Jesus Christ. She weeps, she repents, she is 

See those pure virgin nuns, who are justly called the 
Daughters of the Good Shepherd ! They have sworn, 
before the altar of God, to devote their whole life to the 
reformation of these poor outcasts of society, these 
unhappy victims of a heartless world. See how gently 
they receive the fallen one, how kindly they treat her ! 
See how she enters the convent chapel, and at the very 
feet of Jesus, in the blessed sacrament, she pours out her 
prayers, and sighs, and tears ! She experiences at last 


that there is rest for the weary, that there is hope for the 
sinner ; that there is, indeed, a heaven on earth, in the 
holy Catholic Church. 

In every age, and in every country through which the 
Catholic religion has spread, there have been ma^iy Cath 
olics who showed, in their daily conduct, that they complied 
with the words of St. Paul : u This is the will of God, 
your sanctification." (I Thess. iv, 3.) They were scrupulous 
keepers of the commandments of God, fulfilling the whole 
law and the prophets. How could it be otherwise ? Jesus 
Christ, in the blessed sacrament, this divine food, the 
source of all sanctity, never ceases to bring forth holy 
bishops, like St. Charles Borromeo, St. Francis de Sales, 
St. Alphonsus Liguori j holy priests, like St. Vincent de 
Paul, St. Francis Xavier, St. Peter Claver; holy virgins, 
like St. Teresa, St. Catharine of Sienna, St. Zitta, St. 
Rose of Lima ; holy widows, like St. Frances de Chantal ; 
holy martyrs, like Borie, Gagelin, and so many others. 

That God confirmed the holiness of his servants by 
many miracles and extraordinary gifts, may be read in the 
Lives of the Saints, or in any Church history. "Amen, 
amen, I say to you," said Christ, " he that believeth in 
me, the works that I do he also shall do, and greater than 
these shall he do " (John xiv, 12) ; and, " These signs shall 
follow them that believe : In my name they shall cast out 
devils, they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take 
up serpents, they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and 
they shall recoVer." (Mark xvi, 17, 18.) Accordingly, we 
read that SS. Paphnutius, Remigius, Otto, Robert, Dom 
inic, and many others, cast out the devil from possessed 
persons. When St. Bernardine of Sienna, St. Anthony 
of Padua, St Francis Xavier, and others, preached to an 

CREED. 177 

audience composed of people from different countries, every 
one believed he heard his own tongue spoken. St. Hilary, 
St. Magnus, St. Patrick, and others, banished snakes and 
other reptiles. St. Gregory Thaumaturgus moved a moun 
tain, to obtain a site for a Church. St. Patrick, St. Martin, 
St. Benedict, St. Dominic, St. Anthony, St. Francis of Paula, 
and many others, raised dead persons to life. St. Francis 
Xavier raised twenty-five, and St. John Capistran, thirty 
dead persons to life. St. Stanislas the Martyr restored a 
man to life who had died three years before, and presented 
him before the court to testify that he had bought from 
him a certain piece of ground for his church, and that he 
had paid him in full. 

The Catholic Church, then, is holy in her doctrine and 
means of grace ; she is holy in all those of her members 
who live up to her holy doctrine. She is holy in the 
strenuous efforts which she has always made to put down 
errors, correct abuses, destroy sin, and cure all kinds of 
evils.* Any one who reads, for instance, the acts of the 

* In uprooting evils, in putting down errors, and heresies, and the 
like, the Church never used violent means, such as confiscation of goods, 
banishment, exile, bloodshed and death. The Church has always 
taught her children to suffer persecution for the sake of Christ, but 
never to commence it and carry it on. Her spirit is to love her enemies, 
to pray for their conversion, and to return good for evil. Hence she 
has, at all times, invariably condemned such actions of Catholic mon 
arch s as were opposed to this spirit of meekness and charity. King 
Ferdinand established what is called "The Spanish Inquisition." He 
had good reason to believe that the Moors and the Jews were enemies 
to his government. In those days outspoken heresy was looked upon 
as an offence against religion as well as against the State. Accordingly, 
he erected a civil tribunal for the trial of those of his subjects who were 
suspected of heresy and disloyalty. By this civil tribunal the Moors 
and Jews were oppressed, not so much on account of their heresy, but 
rather on account of their rebellious spirit, arising from heresy. The 


Council of Trent, cannot fail to notice that one-half of its 
chapters treat of the great work of reformation. In this 
council the Church proscribes duels, reduces liturgies to 
unity, banishes profane airs and se cular mtisic from her 
temples, institutes seminaries for the education of the 
clergy, establishes, at cathedrals, free-schools and lectures 
on holy Scripture, for the instruction of the people j she 
reminds her pastors that they are bound to continence, to 
residence, to frequent and diligent preaching ; she inter- 
object, therefore, of the Spanish Inquisition was to preserve the integ 
rity of the kingdom, rather than that of the Catholic religion. From 
the beginning of the action of this political institution, Pope Sixtus 
IV was exceedingly displeased with it. He urged his objections so 
strongly, that the ambassadors of both courts were ordered to leave 
their respective stations, and Ferdinand commanded all his subjects to 
leave Borne. The pope also commanded that the Inquisition should 
not be established in any other province. The Holy Father did all in 
his power to stop the prosecutions, and to soften the punishments in other 
cases. He also insisted that the civil rights and the property of every 
condemned person should be restored to him, or, if he was dead, to his 
children. Pope Leo X excommunicated the Inquisitors of Toledo. Pope 
Paul III lamented bitterly the condition of the Spanish Inquisition, and 
assisted those who were opposing its introduction into Naples. Pope 
Pius IV aided St. Charles Borromeo in keeping it out of Milan. The 
statement of these facts is verified by Llorente s work, or by Professor 
Hefele s (of Tubingen) Epitome of Llorente, in his "Ximenes." The 
excesses of the Spanish Inquisition would not have taken place had the 
court of Spain been obedient to the briefs and commands of the popes. 
Whenever temporal princes persist in meddling with matters which do not 
pertain to their province, they will always pass the limits of justice. It 
would be great folly for any one to blame the Church for those excesse- 
of her members which she disowns, abhors, and condemns. No Protes 
tant or infidel could even produce a brief of a pope or an act of a coun 
cil sanctioning religious persecution. The Catholic Church is indeed 
opposed to heresy; but the only weapons she uses to extirpate it are, to 
explain her doctrine to all non- Catholics, and to be charitable and meek 
toward them. 

CREED. 179 

dits all appearance of simony and venality in the distri 
bution of ecclesiastical offices, in preaching indulgences, 
and in administering the sacraments. 

Thus the tree is pruned, but not uprooted j the pastors, 
those heavenly physicians, cure their patients, but do not 
kill them ; the clergy and the religious orders are reformed, 
but the priesthood and the religious state are not abol 
ished j incontinence is suppressed, though universal mar 
riage is not preached j the weeds in the field of the Lord 
are plucked up ? but the good seed is preserved. This is 
a reformation, not of the Church, but by the Church, a 
reformation to bring about which, she was established by 
Christ ; a reformation which she accomplishes by her 
general councils, by her zealous bishops and holy priests, by 
her fervent religious orders and congregations of both sexes, 
and by so many pious confraternities. But the Church her 
self, her doctrine, her means of grace, her order of govern 
ment, are all divine and holy, and therefore can never be 
reformed : it would be a monstrous impiety to say that she 
could be reformed. 

What a glorious Church is ours ! What power but that 
of God could make her so divinely one in her faith, in her 
morality, in her worship, in her government ? What 
holiness but that of the Lord could make her so holy in. 
her Founder, in her doctrine, in her sacraments, in her 
members ? What more natural than that the Lord of all 
power and of all holiness should make this Church Catholic, 
as to time, place, and doctrine ? But, 

6. What does the word Catholic mean ? 

The word Catholic means Universal. 

Now it is easy to 


7, Show how the Roman Church is Catholic, or Universal. 

The Roman Church is Catholic ; 1, because she has ex 
isted in all ages ; 2, because she teaches all nations ; and, 
3, because she maintains all truths. 

1. The Koman Church is Catholic, because she has 
existed in all ages. This Church is Catholic, or universal, 
in her duration. She goes back, without a break, through 
the apostles to Jesus Christ, through Jesus Christ to the 
origin of the chosen people, and through Abraham and the 
patriarchs even to our first parents in paradise. The 
enemies of God hate his holy Church ; they hate the pope, 
they hate the bishops and the priests ; they grind their 
teeth, they foam at the mouth, they tremble with rage, 
and seem as if they would tear into pieces all the popes, 
bishops and priests that have ever lived, from Peter to the 
present day. Why ? Because Jesus Christ continues to 
live in P6ter ? and in his successors j he speaks to the 
world and teaches it, through them, like one having 
authority. It is for this very reason that the Church will 
remain forever ; for, truth and justice being in the end 
always victorious, the Church will not cease to bless and to 
triumph. All the works of the earth have perished, time 

has obliterated them. The Catholic Church remains : she 

/ / 

will endure until she passes from her earthly exile to her 
country in heaven. 

Human theories and systems have flitted across her 
path, like birds of night, but have vanished ; numberless 
sects have, like so many waves, dashed themselves to 
froth against this rock, or, recoiling, have been lost in the 
vast ocean of forgetfulness. Kingdoms and empires that 
once existed in inimitable worldly gra ndeur^are no more j 
dynasties have died out, and have been replaced by others. 


Theories and sceptres and crowns have withstood the 
Church ; but, immutable, like God, who laid her founda 
tion, she is the firm, unshaken centre, round which the weal 
and woe of nations move : weal to them if they adhere to 
her, woe to them if they separate from her. If the world 
takes from the Catholic Church the cross of gold, she will 
bless the world with one of wood. If necessary, her pas 
tors and all her children can suffer and die for the faith, 
but the Catholic Church remains : she is immortal. 

We cannot but smile when we hear men talk of the down 
fall of the Catholic Church. What could hell and its agents 
do more than they have already done for her destruction ? 
They have employed tortures for the body, but they could 
not reach the spirit ; they have tried heresy, or the denial 
of revealed truth, to such an extent that we can see no room 
for any new heresy ; they have, by the hand of schism, torn, 
whole countries from the unity of the Church j but what she 
lost on one side of the globe, she gained tenfold on the other. 
All these assaults have ignominiously failed to verify the 
prophecies of hell, that " the Catholic Church shall fall." 

Look, for instance, at the tremendous effort of the so- 
called Reformation, together with its twin sister, the 
unbelief of the nineteenth century ! Whole legions of 
Church reformers, together with armies of philosophers, 
armed with negation, and a thousand-and-one systems of 
paganism, furiously attacked the Chair of Peter, and 
swore that the Papacy should fall, and, with it, the whole 
Church. Three hundred years are over, and the Catholic 
Church is still alive, and more vigorous than ever. She 
is the glorious Church of all ages. And as Christ made 
her Catholic, or universal, as to time, so also he made her 
Catholic as to place. 


2. She teaches all nations : " Going therefore," said our 
Lord to his apostles, " teach ye all nations j " and, " You 
shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Jude a, 
and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth." 
More than fifteen hundred years ago there hun g in the 
catacombs of Rome a lamp shaped in the form of a ship, 
at whose helm sat St. Peter, steering with one hand, and 
with the other giving his blessing. On one side of this 
miniature ship were engraved the words, "Peter dies 
not;" and on the other, the words of our Saviour/ "I 
have prayed for thee." (Luke xxii, 32.) 

There could not be a more beautiful symbol of the 
Catholic Church. She is the lamp which has dispelled 
the darkness of heathenism, and has furnished the nations 
with the brilliant light of truth ; the Church is a ship, 
which has carried this light safely, through the storms of 
ages, to the ends of the earth, bringing with it blessings 
to the nations, and gathering into its apostolic net, as it 
sailed along, the perishing children of men. And at the 
helm sits the poor fisherman of Galilee, St. Peter, in the 
person of the pope, together with his assistants, the 
Catholic bishops and priests, directing the course of the 
vessel, now to this, now to that distressed country, now to 
this, now to that sorrowing people, to carry to them, not 
gold, not silver, but what is infinitely more precious, 
faith j and with faith, true civilization, based upon the 
unchangeable principles of supernatural morality, true 
prosperity, true happiness, and peace on earth and for 
eternity. j 

It was not by the circulation of the Bible, by Bible 
societies or by money, but by the living voice of the 
Roman Church, it was through the popes, the Catholic 


bishops and priests, that Christianity, at the end of the 
third century, covered the whole then known world. The 
Capitoline temple, and with it the many shrines of idola 
try, the golden house of Nero, and with it Koman excess 
and Roman cruelty, the throne of the Csesars, and with it 
Roman oppression and Roman injustice, had all passed 
away, and there stood the Rome of the Fathers of the 
Church, the Rome which has yet to do such wonders in 
the world. 

" And the Alight shone into the darkness." Pope after 
pope, the principal bearers of the light of the true faith, 
sent forth to the nations bishops and missionaries, full of 
the spirit of self-sacrifice, solely devoted to their great 
task j and by the inflamed zeal, the fervent piety, the 
earnest prayers and penances, the astounding miracles, the 
bright examples and spotless lives of these apostolic men, 
new tribes and new nations were gained for Christ, year 
after year. Thus, St. Austin carried the light of faith to 
England, St. Patrick to Ireland, St. Boniface to Germany. 
The Frieslanders, the Moravians, the Prussians, the 
Swedes, the Picts, the Scots, the Franks, and hundreds of 
others, were brought to the bosom of the Church through 
the preaching and labors of the bishops and priests of the 
Roman Catholic Church. Driven from one country, their 
influence was made to act on another. When Solisman, 
the Sultan, threatened to wipe out Christianity from 
Europe, Roman Catholic bishops and priests went to the 
East Indies, to China, and Japan. When Europe failed 
in its fidelity, and listened to the siren voice of heresy, 
Catholic bishops and priests were sent to the newly- 
discoVered continent of America, and to the West Indies. 

Gregory XVI devised plans for missions to the interior 


i / 

of Africa, missions which are yet working winders. 

This great work of enlightening the world with the true 
light of the Catholic religion, the Church accomplished, 
more particularly by those astonishing organiz^tiqns called 
religious orders. 

Besides carrying the light of faith to all nations, those 
religious orders did another thing : they civilized the 
countries to which they had been sent. 

In the pagan world, education was an edifice built up 
on the principles of slavery. The motto was: lt Odi pro- 
fanum vulgus et arceo" I hate and shun the common 
people. Education was the privilege of the aristocracy. 
The great mass of people was studiously kept in ignorance 
of the treasures of the mind. This state of things was 
done away with by the Roman Catholic Church, when she 
established the monastic institutions of the West. The 
whole of Europe was soon covered with schools, not only 
for the wealthy, but even for the poorest of the poor. 
Education was systematized, and an emulation was 
created for learning, such as the world had never seen 
before. Italy, Germany, France, England, and Spain, 
had their universities j but, side by side with these, their 
colleges, gymnasiums, parish and village schools, as 
numerous as the churches and monasteries which the 
efforts of the Holy See had scattered, with lavish hand, 
over the length and breadth of the land. 

And where was the source of all this light ? At Rome. 
For, when the barbarian hordes poured down upo ; n Europe 
from the Caspian Mountains, it was the popes who saved 
civilization. They collected, in the Vatican, the manu 
scripts of the ancient authors, gathered from all parts of the 
earth at enormous expense. The barbarians, who destroyed 


everything by fire and sword, had already advanced as 
far as Rome. Attila, who called himself tl the Scourge of 
God," stood before its walls j there were no emperor, no 
pretorian guard, no legions present, to save the ancient 
capital of the world. But there was a pope : Leo I. 
And Leo went forth, and by entreaties, and threats of 
God s displeasure, induced the dreaded king of the Huns 
to retire. Scarcely had Attila retired, befo re Genseric, 
King of the Vandals, made his appearance, invited by 
Eudoxia, the empress, to the plunder of Rome. Leo met 
him, and obtained from him the lives and the honor of 
the Romans, and the sparing of the public monuments 
which adorned the city in such numbers. Thus Leo the 
Great saved Europe from barbarism. To the name of Leo 
might be added those of Gregory I, Sylvester II, Gre 
gory XIII, Benedict XIV, Julius III, Paul III, Leo X, 
Clement VIII, John XX, and a host of others, who 
must be looked upon as the preservers of science and the 
arts, even amid the very fearful torrent of barbarism that 
was spreading itself, like an inundation, over the whole of 
Europe. The principle of the Catholic Church has ever 
been this : u By the knowledge of divine things, and 
the guidance of an infallible teacher, the human mind 
must gain certainty in regard to the sublimest problems, 
the great questions of life; by them the origin, the end, 
the aim and limit of man s activity, must be made known, 
for then only can he venture fearlessly upon the sphere 
of hiiman efforts, and human developments, and human 
science." Andj truly, never has science gained the 
ascendency outside of the Church that it has Always held 
in the Church. And what is true of science is true, also, of 
the arts. It is true of architecture, of sculpture, and of 


painting. We need only point to the Basilica of Pe ter, 
to the museums and libraries of Eome. It is to Rome 
the youthful artist always turns his steps, in Order to 
drink in, at the monuments of art and of science, the 
genius and inspiration he seeks for in vain in his own 
country. He feels, only too keenly, that railroads and 
telegraphs, steamships and power-looms, banking-houses 
and stock- companies, though good and u seful institutions, 
are not the mothers of genius, nor the schools of inspira - 
tion ; and therefore he leaves his country, and goes to 
Rome, and there feasts on the fruits gathered by the hands 
of St. Peter s successors, and returns home with a name 
which will live for ages in the memory of those who have 
learned to appreciate the true and the beautiful. 

The depravity of man shows itself in the constant 
endeavor to shake off the restraint placed by law and 
duty upon his will : and to this we must ascribe the lice n- 
tiousness which has at all times afflicted society. Passion 
acknowledges no law, and spares neither rights nor 
conventions j where it has the power, it exercises it to the 
advantage of self, and to the detriment of social oVder. 
The Church is, by its very constitution, Catholic, and hence 
looks upon all men as brothers of the same family. She 
acknowledges not the natural right of one man Over 
another j and hence her Catholicity lays a heavy restraint 
upon all the efforts of self-love, and curbs, with a mighty 
hand, the temerity of those who would destroy the har 
mony of life, implied in the idea of Catholicity. 

One of the first principles of all social happiness is, 
that before the law of nature, and before the face of 
God, all men are equal. This principle is based on the 
unity of the human race, the origin of all men from one 


common father. If we study the history of paganism, we 
find that all heathen nations overturned this great prin 
ciple, since we find among all heathen nations the evil of 
slavery. Prior to the cdming of Christ, the great major 
ity of men were looked upon as a higher development of 
the animal, as animated instruments, which might be 
bought and sold, given away and pawned 5 which might 
be tormented, maltreated, or murdered ; as beings, in a 
word, for whom the idea of right, duty, pity, mercy, and 
law, had no existence. Who can read, without a feeling 
of inte nse horror, the accounts left us of the treatment of 
their slaves by the Romans ? There was no law that 
could restrain in the least the wantonness, the cruelty, the 
licentious excess of the master, who, as master, possessed 
the absolute right to do with his slaves whatsoever he 
pleased. To remove this stain of slavery has ever been 
the aim of the Catholic Church. " Since the Saviour and 
Creator of the world, 7 says Pope Gregory I, in his cele 
brated decree, " wished to become man, in order, by 
grace and liberty, to break the chains of our slavery, it 
is right and good to bestow again upon man, whom nature 
has permitted to be born free, but whom the law of nations 
has brought under the yoke of slavery, the blessing of 
his original liberty." Through all the middle ages, 
called by Protestants the dark ages of the world, the echo 
of these words of Gre gory I is heard ; and, in the thir 
teenth century, Pope Pius II could say : " Thanks be to God 
and the Apostolic See, the yoke of slavery does no longer 
disgrace any European nation." Since then, slavery was 
again introduced into Africa and the newly-discovered 
regions of America, and again the jpopes raised their 
voices in the interests of liberty. Pius VII, even at the 


time when Napoleon had robbed him of his liberty, and 
held him captive in a foreign land, became the defender 
of the negro. Gregory XVI, on the 3d of November, 
1839, insisted, in a special Bull, on the abolition of the 
slave trade, and spoke in a strain as if he had lived and 
sat side by side with Gregory I, thirteen hundred years 
before. But here let us observe, that not only the vindi 
cation of liberty for all, not only the abolition of slaVery, 
but the very mode of action followed in this, matter by the 
popes, has gained for the Church immortal honor, and the 
esteem of all good men. When the Church abolished 
slavery in any country where it existed, the popes did 
not compel masters, by harshness or threats, to manumit 
their slaves j they did not bring into action the base in 
trigues, the low chicanery, the canting hypocrisy, of 
modern statesmen ; they did not raise armies, and send 
them into the lands of their masters to burn and to pillage, 
to lay waste and to destroy ; they did not slaughter, by 
their schemes, over a million of free men, and another 
million of slaves 5 they did not make widows and orphans 
without number j they did not impoverish the land, and 
lay upon their subjects burdens which would crush them 
into v6ry dust. Nothing of all this. That is not the 
way in which the Church abolished slavery. The popes 
sent bishops and priests into those countries where slavery 
existed, to enlighten the minds of the masters, and con 
vince them that slaves were men, and consequently had 
immortal souls like other people. The pastors of the 
Church infused into the hearts of masters a deep love for 
Jesus Christ, and consequently a deep love for souls. 
They taught masters to look upon slaves as created by the 
same God ; redeemed by the same Jesus Christ, destined 


for the same glory. The consequence was, that the re 
lations of slave and master became the relations of brother 
to brother; the master began to love his slave, and to 
ameliorate his condition, till at last, forced by his own 
acknowleged principles, he granted to him his liberty. 
Thus it was that slavery was abolished by the preaching 
of the popes, bishops and priests. The great barrier to 
all the healthy, permanent, and free development of 
nations was thus broken down ; the blessings, the privileges 
of society, were made equally attainable by the masses, 
and ceased to be the special monopoly of a few, who, for 
the most part, had nothing to recommend them except their 

It is thus that the Catholic Church has accomplished 
the great work of enlightening society. She has shed the 
light of faith over the East and the West, over the North 

and the South, and with the faith she has established the 


principles of true science on their natural bases. She 
has imparted education to the masses, wherever she was 
left free to adopt her own, and untrammelled by civil 
interference. She has fostered and protected the arts 
and the sciences ; and to-day, if all the libraries, and all 
the museums, and all the galleries of art in the world 
were destroyed, Rome alone would possess quite enough 
to supply the want, as it did in former ages, when others 
supplied themselves by plundering Rome. She has 
abolished slavery, and established human freedom. She 
truly is what she is called : Catholic for all ages, Catholic 
for all nations, and 

3. She is Catholic, because she maintains all truths. 

The Roman Church is universal, or catholic, as to doc 
trine. Her doctrine is the same everywhere. What she 


teaches in one country, she also teaches in another. 
Her doctrine in one place is her doctrine in another. 
There can be in the Roman Church no new doctrine, no 
local belief, no creed in which the whole Church has not 
been united the Church uniting to condemn all variations 
from this belief. New discipline, new practices, new 
orders, new methods, may be adopted by the Church, 
according to the requirements of her work ; but there 
can be no doctrine which has not existed from the begin 
ning, as it was received from Christ and the apostles. 
A doctrine, to be truly Catholic, must have been believed 
in all places, at all times, and by all the faithful. By 
this test of catholicity, or universality, antiquity and 
consent, all questions of faith are tried and decided. 
Doctrines and articles of faith may be newly defined, as, 
for instance, that of the Immaculate Conception or of the 
Infallibility of the Pope, but there can be no new doctrine. 
Novelty is a quality of heresy ; for, though some errors 
may be very old, yet they are new as compared with 
the truth. In every case, the truth must first appear 
before its corresponding error. The denial of any truth 
supposes its previous assertion. Like the divine Founder 
of the Roman Catholic Church, her doctrine is the same 
yesterday, to-day, and forever. 

" Some years ago," writes Mr. Marshal, a distinguished 
English convert, " I was present, officially, at the examina 
tion of an English primary school, in which the children 
displayed such unusual accuracy and intelligence, as long 
as the questions turned only upon secular subjects, that I 
was anxious to ascertain whether they could reason as well 
about the truths of the Catechism as they could about 
those of grammar and arithmetic. I communicated 


my desire to their clergyman, who kindly permitted me to 
have recourse to a test which I had employed on other 
occasions. I requested him to interrogate them on the 
Notes of the Church, and when they had explained in the 
ilsual manner the meaning of the word Catholic, I took up 
the examination, with the consent of the priest, and 
addressed the following question to the class : You say 
the Church is Catholic because she is everywhere. Now, 
I have visited many countries, in all parts of the world, 
and I never came to one in which I did not find heresy. 
If, then, the Church is Catholic because she is everywhere, 
why is not heresy Catholic, since heresy is everywhere, 
also V If you please, sir/ answered a little girl, about 
twelve years of age, the Church is everywhere, and 
everywhere the same ; heresy may be every where too, 
but it is everywhere different. r 

The Church is unceasingly assailed by new errors, 
yet she always and everywhere is consistent with herself; 
she explains and develops her earlier definitions, without 
even the shadow of change appearing ; she has declared, 
hundreds of times, that she can introduce no innovations, 
that she has no power to originate anything in matters of 
faith and morals, but that it is her right and office to 
maintain the divine doctrine as contained in Scripture 
and tradition. She has convoked nineteen General Coun 
cils, and in each pronounced a solemn anathema on all 
who in the least deviated from the fafrith. In all ages she 
has undergone the most cruel persecutions, because she 
maintains all truths, and for this very reason she will be 
persecuted to the end of the world. But rather than 
yield one iota of her doctrine, she is willing to make every 
sacrifice : she permits whole countries to leave her, her 


pastors to be murdered, her children to be imprisoned and 
exiled, rather than permit one tittle of the law to be abol 
ished. See, for instance, what she has done and suffered 
in upholding the dignity of the sacrament of marriage, 
the corner-stone of society ! 

See the workings of Catholic and Protestant doctrines 
of marriage in society ! Take the common instance of a 
man in whose heart there is a fearful struggle between 
conscience on the one hand, and blind, brutish passion on 
the other ! His wife, that wife whom he once loved so 
dearly, has become hateful to him. Perhaps she has lost 
the charm of beauty which once fascinated his heart. 
Another stands before him she is young, she is beautiful. 
Protestantism, like the tempter of hell, whispers in his ear : 
" Sue for a divorce. The marriage bond can be broken. 
Youth and beauty may yet be yours. " And the voice of 
conscience, the voice of Grod, is stifled. Brutish passion 
conquers. Divorce is sought and obtained, and the poor 
wife is cast away, and left heart-broken and companionless. 
And the children of such a marriage, who shall care for 
them ? Who shall teach them the virtues of obedience and 
charity? How can they respect a divorced mother, an 
adulterous father ? No, these children become naturally 
the curse of society. They fill our prisons, our hospitals, 
the brothels. 

On the contrary, if that man is a Catholic, the holy 
Church speaks to him in solemn warning : " See ! " she 
says, " you took that wife in the day of her early joy and 
beauty. She gave you her young heart before the altar. 
You swore before God and his angels to be faithful to her 
until death. I declare to you, then, that, at the peril of 
your immortal soul, you must keep that union perpetual. 

CREED. 193 

That union shall end only when you have stood by her 
death-bed, when you have knelt at her grave." 

The Catholic Church has always regarded Christian 
marriage as the corner-stone of society ; and at that corner 
stone have the pastors of the Church stood guard for eigh 
teen centuries, insisting that Christian marriage is one, ; 
holy and indissoluble. Woman, weak and unprotected, 
has always found at Rome that guarantee which was 
refused her by him who had sworn at the altar of God 
to love her and to cherish her till death. Whilst in the 
nations which Protestantism tore from the bosom of the 
Church, the sacred laws of matrimony are trampled in the 
dust ; whilst the statistics of these nations hold up to the 
world the sad spectacle of divorces almost as numerous 
as marriages, of separations of husband from wife, and 
wife from husband, for the most trivial causes, thus grant 
ing to lust the widest margin of license, and legalizing 
concubinage and adultery 5 whilst the nineteenth century 
records in its annals the existence of a community of 
licentious polygamists within the borders of one of the 
most civilized countries of the earth, we have yet to see 
the decree emanating from Rome that would permit even 
a beggar to repudiate his lawful wife, in order to give his 
affections to an adulteress. 

The female portion of our race would always have 
sunk back into a new slavery, had not the popes entered 
the breach for the protection of the unity, the sanctity, the 
indissolubility of matrimony. In the midst of the barbar 
ous ages, during which the conqueror and -warrior swayed 
the sceptre of empire, and kings and petty tyrants acknow 
ledged no other right but that of force, it was the popea 
that opposed their authority, like a wall of brass, to the 


sensuality and the passions of the mighty ones of the earth, 
and stood forth as the protectors of innocence and outraged 
virtue, as the champions of the rights of women, against 
the wanton excesses of tyrannical husbands, by enforcing, 
in their full severity, the laws of Christian marriage. If 
Christian Europe is not covered with harems j if polygamy 
has never gained a foothold in Europe ; if, with the indis- 
solubility and sanctity of matrimony, the palladium of 
European civilization has been saved from destruction, it 
is all owing to the pastors of the Church. " If the popes," 
says the Protestant Yon Miiller, "if the popes could 
hold up no other merit than that which they gained by 
protecting monogamy against the brutal lusts of those in 
power, notwithstanding bribes, threats, and persecutions, 
that fact alone would render them immortal for all future 

And how had they to battle till they had gained this 
merit ? What sufferings had they to endure, what trials 
to undergo ? When King Lothair, in the ninth century.,, 
repudiated his lawful wife, in drder to live with a concu 
bine, Pope Nicholas I at once took upon himself the 
defence of the rights and of the honor of the unhappy 
wife. All the arts of an intriguing policy were plied, but 
Nicholas remained unshaken j threats were used, but 
Nicholas remained firm. At last the king s brother, 
Louis II, appears with an army before the walls of Rome, 
in oVder to compel the pope to yield. It is useless 
Nicholas swerves not from the line of duty. Rome ia 
besieged j the priests and people are maltreated and plun 
dered ; sanctuaries are desecrated ; the cross is torn down 
and trampled under foot, and, in the midst of these scenes 
of blood and sacrilege, Nicholas flies to the Church of St. 


Peter. There he is besieged by the army of the emperor 
for two days and two nights ; left without food or drink, 
he is willing to die of starvation on the tomb of St. Peter, 
rather than yield to a brutal tyrant, and sacrifice the 
sanctity of Christian marriage, the law of life of Christian 
society. And the perseverance of Nicholas I was 
crowned with victory. He had to contend against a 
licentious king, who was tired of restraint j against an 
emperor, who, with an army at his heels, came to enforce 
his brother s unjust demands 5 against two councils of 
venal bishops : the one at Metz, the other at Aix-la- 
Chapelle, who had sanctioned the scandals of the adulter 
ous monarch. Yet, with all this opposition, and the 
suffering it cost him, the pope succeeded in procuring the 
acknowledgment of the rights of an injured woman. 
And during succeeding ages we find Gregory V carrying 
on a similar combat against King Robert, and Urban II 
against King Philip of France. In the thirteenth century, 
Philip Augustus, mightier than his predecessors, set to 
work all the levers of power, in order to move the pope 
to divorce him from his wife, Ingelburgis. Hear the noble 
answer of the great Innocent III : 

" Since, by the grace of God, we have the firm and 
unshaken will never to separate ourselves from justice 
and truth, neither moved by petitions, nor bribed by 
presents, neither induced by love, nor intimidated by hate, 
we will continue to go on in the royal path, turning neither 
to the right nor to the left j and we judge without any 
respect to persons, since God himself does not respect 

After the death of his first wife, Isabella, Philip Augus 
tus wished to gain the favor of Denmark by marrying 


Ingelbiirgis. The union had hardly been solemnized, 
when he wished to be divorced from her. A council of 
venal bishops assembled at Compiegne, and annulled his 
lawful marriage. The queen, poor w6man, was summoned 
before her judges, and the sentence was read and trans 
lated to her. She could not speak the language of France, 
so her only cry was, " Rome ! " And Rome heard her 
cry of distress, and came to her rescue. Innocent III 
needed the alliance of France in the troubles in which he 
was engaged with Germany ; Innocent III nee ded the 
assistance of France for the Crusade j yet Innocent III 
sent Peter of Capua as legate to France. A council is 
convoked by the legate of the Pope ; Philip refuses to 
appear, in spite of the summons, and his whole kingdom is 
placed under interdict. Philip s rage knows no bounds ; 
bishops are banished, his lawful wife is imprisoned, and 
the king vents his rage on the clergy of France. The 
barons, at last, appeal to the sword. The king complains 
to the pope of the harshness of the legate ; and when 
Innocent only confirms the sentence of the legate, the king 
exclaims, a Happy Saladin ! he had no pope ! ?? Yet the 
king was forced to obey. When he asked the barons 
assembled in council, " What must I do ? " their answer 
was, " Obey the pope ; put away Agnes, and restore 
Ingelburgis." And, thanks to the severity of Innocent 
III, Philip repudiated the concubine, and restored Ingel- 
burgis to her rights, as wife and queen. 

Hear what the Protestant Hurter says in his Life of 
Innocent : "If Christianity has not been thrown aside, as 
a worthless creed, into some isolated corner of the world j 
if it has not, like the sects of India, been reduced to a mere 
theory ; if its European vitality has outlived the voluptuous 


effeminacy of the East, it is due to the watchful severity 
of the Roman Pontiffs to their increasing care to main 
tain the principles of authority in the Church." 

As often as we look toward England, we are reminded 
of the words of Innocent III to Philip Augustus. We 
see Clement using them as his principles in his conduct 
toward the royal brute, Henry VIII. Catharine of Ara- 
gon, the lawful wife of Henry, had been repudiated by 
her disgraceful husband, and it was again to Rome she 
appealed for protection. Clement remonstrated with 
Henry. The monarch calls the pope hard names. Cle 
ment repeats, u Thou shalt not commit adultery !" Henry 
threatens to tear England from the Church he does it ; 
still Clement insists, " Thou shalt not commit adultery !" 
The blood of Fisher and Moore is shed at Tyburn ; still 
the pope repeats, "Thou shalt not commit adultery !" 
The firmness of the pope cost England s loss to the Church. 
It cost the pope bitter tears, and he prayed to heaven not 
to visit on the people of England the crimes of the despot j 
he prayed for the conversion of the nation j but to sacri 
fice the sanctity, the indissolubility of matrimony, that 
he could never do ; to abandon helpless woman to the 
brutality of men who were tired of the restraints of 
morality, no, that the pope could never permit. If the 
court, if the palace, if the domestic hearth, refused a 
shelter, Rome was always open, a refuge to injured and 
down-trodden innocence. 

" One must obey God more than man." This has ever 
been the language of the Church, whenever there was 
question of defending the laws of God against the powera 
of the earth ; and in thus defending the laws of God, she 
has always shown herself Catholic. 


Oh, how sad would be the state of society were the 
popes, the bishops, and priests to be banished from the 
earth ! The bonds that unite the husband and wife, the 
child and the parent, the friend and the friend, would be 
broken. Peace and justice would flee from the earth. 
Robbery, murder, hatred, lust, and all the other crimes 
condemned by the Gospel, would prevail. Faith would 
no longer elevate the souls of men to heaven. Hope, the 
sweet consoler of the afflicted, of the widow and the 
orphan, would flee away, and in her stead would reign 
black despair, terror, and suicide. Where would we find 
the sweet virtue of charity, if the popes, the bishops, and 
priests were to disappear forever ? Where would we find 
that charity which consoles the poor and forsaken, which 
lovingly dries the tears of the widow and the orphan, 
that charity which soothes the sick man in his sufferings, 
and binds up the wounds of the bleeding defender of 
his country! Where would we find that charity which 
casts a spark of divine fire into the hearts of so many 
religious, bidding them abandon home, friends, and every 
thing that is near and dear to them in this world, to go 
among strangers, among savage tribes, and gain there, in 
return for their heroism, nothing but outrage, suffering, 
and death? Where, I ask, would we find this charity, 
if the popes, the bishops, and priests were to disappear 
forever f 

Let a parish be for many years without a priest, and the 
people thereof will become the blind victims of error, of 
superstition, and of all kinds of vices. Show me an age, 
a country, a nation, without priests, and I will show you 
an age, a country, a nation, without morals, without virtue. 
Yes, if " religion and science, liberty and justice, prin- 


ciple and right," are not empty sounds if they have a 
meaning, they owe their energetic existence in the world 
to the "salt of the earth," to the popes, bishops, and 
priests of the Catholic Church. 

Finally, the Church, one, holy and Catholic, is also 
apostolic. Now, should some one ask : 

8. Show how the Catholic Church is apostolic. 

We answer : The Catholic Church is apostolic, because her 
chief pastor, the pope, is the lawful successor of St. Peter, and 
the bishops are the laivful successors of the other apostles, from 
whom they have their doctrine, their orders, and their mis 
sion, through an unbroken succession of bishops. 

The Catholic Church can show precisely how she 
obtained possession of the divine authority of the apostles. 
The Ro man Pontiff, Pius IX, can name the two hundred 
and fifty-three popes who, without a break, handed down 
the authority of St. Peter, the head of the apostles, even 
to himself. He can tell the day and hour of his election 
and consecration, which are consigned to imperishable 

Every bishop of the Catholic Church can also show the 
authentic titles which prove the transmission of the apo 
stolic authority from the pontiff, who founded his Church, 
down to himself, the validity of his 7 ordination, and the 
legitimate character of his mission. Every priest receives 
his authority from his bishop. Thus there is not a break 
in those glorious lines of bishops, which each episcopal 
see, and above all sees, that of Peter, can show alike to 
friend and foe. Here nothing is arbitrary, nothing un 
certain. The apostolic ministry is perpetuated, under 
the presidency of the head of the apo stles, with the 
perpetual presence and assistance of Him who promised 


to be with his own, even to the end of the world. Thus 
the authority of the minister of our altars does not depend 
on the power of any temporal monarch, nor on the people ; 
it depends solely on the head and chief pastor in the 
apostolical hierarchy. What noble independence this ! 
It is the security of the faithful, and constitutes both the 
greatness of the Church, and the dignity of her pastors. 

In the beginning of the thirteenth century the pope 
sent ambassadors to the famous Tartar monarch, Jengis 
Khan. The Tartars asked the ambassadors, " Who is the 
pope ? Is he not an old man at least five hundred years of 
age ?" They might have said twelve hundred, and they 
would have been right ; for, as Pius IX has said so truly, 
" Simon may die, but Peter lives forever : " and Peter will 
live until time shall have ended its course. Pius IX is to us 
Peter 5 for each pontiff, as he comes, reigns upon Peter s 
throne, speaks with his voice, binds and looses with his 
hands, opens and closes the kingdom with the keys which 
Peter once took from the pierced hands of his divine 
Master ; and he will hold those keys of life and death till 
the number of the elect is filled, and the last of the 
redeemed enters his Father s house. 

The Church taught and governed in our days by the 
pope and bishops, differs not in its essential character 
from the Church taught and governed by Peter and the 
apostles. Let us see how Peter exercises the authority con 
ferred on him, and, through him, upon all his successors, by 
Jesus Christ. After the resurrection of our Saviour, who 
appeared to Peter first of all the apostles, he is the first 
to proclaim that resurrection to all the people, and he 
confirms the truth of his testimony by a miracle. ( Acts ii, 
14 j and, iii, 15.) After the ascension of our Lord, Peter 

CREED. 201 

assembled the apostles and some disciples in the upper- 
chamber, and addressed them thus, " The Scripture must 
needs be fulfilled/ 7 which foretells the defection of Judas, 
and his place being taken by another. We, therefore, must 
choose one from among us, who has been a witness to the 
miracles and resurrection of the Son of God, to take his 
place. (Acts i, 16.) Is the Gospel to be preached to 
the Gentiles ? It is Peter to whom the solution of the 
difficulty is revealed 5 it is he who decides, "all holding 
their peace, and giving glory to God." (Acts iii, 18.) 
Peter first received the Gentiles into the Church ( Acts 
x ), after having been the first to introduce the Jews into 
her sacred fold. At a later period the question of circum 
cision and the ceremonies of the law came up. Peter at 
once rose up, and explained the common faith. All 
listened in silence. A decree was made in which the 
faith on this point was determined forever. Peter visited 
the Christians of Joppe, Lydda, Galilee, Pontus, Galatia, 
Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia, etc. ( Acts ix.) Everywhere 
he founded new congregations of Christians, and visited 
them all in, his office of Supreme Pastor. From Jerusalem 
he went to Antioch, from Antioch to Rome, where he 
combated the heresy of Simon the Magician, and finally 
sealed his glorious apostleship by dying a martyr s death. 

As the lawful successor of the Prince of the Apostles, the 
pope decides, without appeal, matters of faith and morals, 
convokes general councils, presides over and confirms them, 
founds churches, visits them in person, or by his delegates, 
appoints bishops, confirms them in the faith, and acts in all 
as the Supreme Head and Pastor of the Catholic Church. 
Peter took possession, for himself and his successors, of all 
the prerogatives and duties of the Sovereign Pontificate. 


Now let us see how the apostles exercise the authority 
conferred on them by Christ, From the Acts of the Apos 
tles we learn that they teach and preach the Gospel, they 
baptize and impose hands, that is, give confirmation,- 
they found churches, and give them pastors ; they choose 
one to succeed Judas ; in the Council of Jerusalem, they 
regulate whatever concerns faith and discipline, saying, " It 
has seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us" (Acts xv, 
82) ; they resolve difficulties, and repress scandals that 
arise, and, if necessary, they excommunicate him who de 
serves to be cut off from the communion of the faithful, till 
he truly repents ; they command the Christians to avoid 
teachers who were not sent by Christ (Tit. iii, 10), and 
to receive their oral traditions as well as their written in 
structions (2 Thess. ii, 14); they clearly teach that the 
Church is founded upon the apostolic ministry (Eph. ii, 
20) ; that Christ appointed apostles, pastors, doctors, in a 
word, a teaching and governing body, to accomplish the 
work of sanctifying the elect, that "we be not carried 
about with every wind of doctrine" (Eph. iv, 12-14); 
they also teach that the Holy Ghost has appointed bishops 
to rule the Church of God (Acts xx, 28) ; that the read 
ing of holy Scripture " is profitable," to those especially 
who " teach and reprove others," yet that they contain 
difficult passages, " which the unlearned wrest " from their 
true meaning " to their own destruction. n (2 Pet. iii, 
16.) What is all this but precisely what the bishops ot 
the Catholic Church practise to-day f They teach, decide 
on points of faith and morals, give confirmation, ordain 
priests ; they govern, punish, excommunicate, grant in 
dulgences, recommend the faithful not to become familiar 
with heretics; they assemble in council, to regulate in 


matters concerning faith, morals, and discipline ; and all this 
they do in the name of the Holy Ghost, who has promised 
them his assistance. They teach that the unwritten word 
of God is to be received with the same faith as the written ; 
and each bishop says, with the great apostle, that he is 
" appointed , by the Holy Spirit" to govern his Church. 
Thus we see that the Church of Jesus Christ, as described 
by St. Luke, St. Paul, St. James, and the others, is pre 
cisely the same as the Church which is called one, holy, 
Catholic and Apostolic. Now, 

9. Why is the Catholic Church called Roman ? 

f The Catholic Church is called Roman: 1, because the 
visible head of the Church is Bishop of Rome / 2, because 
St. Peter and his successors fixed their see in Rome ; 3, 
because all the Catholic Churches in the world profess their 
union with the Roman Church. 

The Catholic Church is called Roman, because at Rome 
the pope, as visible head of the Church, has fixed his see. 
St. Peter was the first pope and first bishop of Rome. 
After having preached in Jerusalem, and presided for 
seven years over the Church of Antioch, he left St. 
Ignatius in his place at Antioch, and went to Rome, where 
he fixed his see. He was, however, often absent to 
perform his apostolical duties in other countries. He 
came to Rome in A. D. 40. Having remained there for 
some considerable time, he went back to the East, but 
returned to Rome not long after. In 49, on account of 
some tumult raised by the Jews against the Christians, 
St. Peter and St. Paul were banished from Rome by 
Claudius, but they were soon allowed to return. St. 
Peter returned again to the East, and in 51 was present 
at the General Council held at Jerusalem by the apostles, 


where, in a discourse, he showed that the Gentile converts 
were not bound by the Jewish ceremonies. St. Peter 
went back to Rome a few years previous to his martyrdom, 
in the reign of the Emperor Nero. But before his final 
return thither, he preached the Gospel over all Italy, and 
likewise in other provinces of the West. When again in 
Rome, he and St. Paul, by their prayer, put an end to the 
magical delusions of Simon Magus. Enraged at this, the 
tyrant Nero put both apostles into the Mamertine prison. 
After an imprisonment of eight months, St. Peter was 
scourged, and then crucified with his head downward. 
He chose this manner of crucifixion, because he believed 
himself unworthy to suffer and die in the same way as 
his divine Master. According to Eusebius and Others, 
he held possession of the See of Rome for about twenty- 
five years, assisted by St. Paul, who shared with him 
the honor of having founded Christian Rome. 

St. Peter, then, the Prince of the Apostles, who first 
occupied the Apostolic See, transmitted, by the command 
of God, to the pontiffs, who even to the end of time should 
occupy his see, his primacy in the apostolate and in the 
pastoral charge, together with all the authority which he 
had received froni God our Saviour. Hence the Greeks, 
in 1274, subscribed this profession of faith, which was 
preaented to them by Gregory X : " The holy Roman 
Church possesses a supreme and complete primacy and 
authority over the whole Catholic Church j she acknow 
ledges truly and humbly that she received it, together 
with plenary authority, from the Saviour himself, in the 
person of Peter, the Prince or Head of the Apostles, of 
whom the Roman Pontiff is the successor j and as she is 
bound more than the other churches to defend the truth 


of religion, so, if any questions arise concerning the faith, 
they ,ought to be determined by her judgment. Whoever 
considers himself wronged in any matter which pertains 
to the Church, can appeal to her tribunal ; and in all the 
causes which relate to ecclesiastical jurisdiction, recourse 
may be had to her judgment. All churches are subject 
to her, and the prelates who govern them owe respect and 
obedience to her. The plenitude of power belongs to her 
in such a manner, that the other churches are admitted by 
her to a share in her solicitude. Several of these, espe 
cially the patriarchal churches, have been honored with 
various privileges by the Roman Church, without preju 
dice to her prerogatives, which she must preserve whether 
in General Councils or in certain other cases." (Labbe, 
t. xi, p. 965.) 

In the fourteenth century, it is true, several popes 
resided at Avignon, in France, yet they did not cease, 
on that account, to be the Bishops of Rome and the heirs 
of St. Peter. Rome is, indeed, the capital of Christendom, 
and is justly called the Eternal City, for it has always been 
the centre of Catholic unity, and the see of the successors 
of St. Peter. 

From St. Peter s time every succeeding head of the 
Church was Bishop of Rome, and, seated in the Chair of 
Peter, governed the Church as her Sovereign Pontiff, as 
the visible representative of ecclesiastical unity, as the 
supreme teacher and guardian of the faith, as the supreme 
legislator and interpreter of the canons, as the legitimate 
superior of all bishops, as the final judge of councils, 
enjoying the primacy both of honor and jurisdiction ; so 
that the pagan historian, Ammianus Marcellinus, styled 
Pope Liberius " the overseer of the Christian religion j" 


and the Fathers, the Councils, the Doctors of the Church, 
ecclesiastical writers, and the saints of all ages, have called 
the Bishop of Rome pope, that is, father, because he is 
the common spiritual father of all Christians. They have 
called him also the Most Holy Father, the Universal Bishop 
of the Church, the Vicar of Christ, the Pastor of pastors, 
the Judge of judges. They have given him the ti tle of 
Sovereign Pontiff, because he is superior to all other pon 
tiffs or bishops, not only as to honor, but also as to juris 
diction, and because he exercises supreme authority in the 
Universal Church. On account of this primacy or suprem 
acy which the head of the Church has received immediately 
from God, in the person of Peter, the Council of Trent de 
fines that the faithful, of whatever dignity, be they kinga 
or emperors, bishops, primates, or patriarchs, owe him a 
real and true obedience. The same council declares that 
it pertains to him to provide the churches with pastors to 
determine the impediments which make marriage null and 
to dispense with them, to convoke a General Council, 
to confirm its decrees, to resolve the doubts raised by them, 
to create cardinals, to appoint bishops, to watch over the 
reform of studies, to correct abuses, to decide the most 
grave causes in which bishops are concerned ; he can 
reserve to himself the absolving from certain grave crimes, 
absolve those who have possessed themselves of ecclesias 
tical property : without his judgment nothing of impor 
tance can be established in the Church. 

Here it may be asked : 

10. Did this power of the pope also include the power 
to depose temporal rulers ? 

The London Tablet, Dec. 5, 1874, answers this question 
as follows : 


" We firmly believe that the deposing power actually 
exerted by more than one Roman Pontiff, and owing its 
efficacy to the spontaneous assent of the Christian con 
science, is manifestly included among the gifts of Peter. 
We believe it, among other reasons, because no power 
can be wanting to his supreme jurisdiction, of which the 
safety of the Christian commonwealth, committed to his 
oversight, may at any time require the exercise. He is 
God s vicegerent. The Church, which is God s kingdom 
on earth, was built by her divine Founder a upon this 
rock." The Almighty Architect might have chosen an 
other foundation, but he chose this, and the gates of hell 
have not been able to subvert it. It is true that St. Peter 
never used the deposing power, but that was because 
Christendom had not yet begun to exist ; it is equally true 
that neither Pius IX nor any of his successors are ever 
likely to use it, but that is because Christendom has ceased 
to exist. There is a great host of Christians more than 
ever there were but there is no longer any Christendom. 
There is not in the whole world so much as a solitary 
state, unless it be one of the South American republics, 
which even professes to shape its policy by the law of 
God, much less by the counsels of his Vicar. They did 
so for many ages, to their own advantage, but they 
have ceased to do it. Only the Moslem now affects to do 
everything in the name of Allah. Governments are no 
longer Christian. Their very composition proves it. Even 
in the cabinet of one who is called, as if in derision, * His 
Apostolic Majesty, there are two Jews. Every one 
knows how the rest are formed ; they might all write over 
their council doors, if they were candid enough, No 
truth here. For them, as Gibbon would say, all religions 


are * equally true a,nd equally false. Some princes encour 
age their own children to change their religion, in o rder 
to make a good marriage. Others, while professing to 
honor Peter, sit down to table with miscreants whom he 
has excommunicated. Christendom no longer exists. If 
it did, certain crowned malefactors, who make a treaty 
with Atheists and Freemasons, and persecute bishops, would 
probably find that, as St. Ambrose says, Peter is not dead. 
But if Christendom should ever be restored, which does not 
seem likely, we profess our unhesitating conviction that 
the deposing power of God s Vicar would revive with it. 

u When states were wholly Catholic, as they were for 
a good many centuries, when all men believed, with the 
saints and martyrs, that it was to the pope that the 
Almighty said, Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, 
shall be bound in heaven j ? when the supreme authority 
of the Holy See was at once the bulwark of thrones, and 
part of the public law of Europe 5 when Csesar said to 
bishops, presided over by the papal legates, as Constan- 
tine, the master of the world, said to the Fathers at Nice, 
6 Nos a vobis rede judicamurj nobody disputed that, as 
members of the Christian commonwealth, kings and princes 
were subject, by the law of God, to the authority of the 
Roman Pontiff. It was his office to restrain, by all the 
means which the decree of God and the faith of Christians 
gave him, any abuse of their power by which either the 
interests of religion or the just rights of Christian people 
were prejudiced. He was at once the guardian of the 
faith, and the only invincible enemy of tyrants. The 
most eminent non-Catholic writers have confessed that 
Christianity was preserved from what Guizot calls the 
tyranny of brute force/ mainly by that vigilant and fear- 

CREED. 209 

less intervention of the Holy See, for which, as some of 
them sorrowfully admit, no substitute can now be found. 
But it is evident that the extreme penalty of deposition, 
the application of which is now transferred from the pope 
to the mob, could only be enforced in a state of society 
which has long since passed away, and is never likely to 

" The only remonstrants against the spiritual authority, 
even when its judgments were most formidable, were 
worthless princes, who wished to filch the revenues of 
episcopal sees, and a few depraved prelates, who wished 
to curry favor with such princes. The Church lived in 
those days, as Emerson observes with true American 
candor, i by the love of the people? They knew who 
was their friend. His judgments had no terror for them. 
The modern jealousy of the Holy See, which has only 
transferred all spiritual authority, as Professor Merivale 
remarks, i from the Church to the State, has been as 
fatal to liberty as to religion. The state most violently 
opposed to the Holy See at this day is Prussia, and the 
only representatives of liberty in Prussia are the Catholic 
bishops and clergy. Even German Protestants witnessr 
against the ruthless enslavement of mind and conscience 
in a country in which only two institutions now remain : 
the barrack and the goal. What Neander would have 
said of the present tyranny in Prussia, we may judge 
from his own words : 6 Beautiful/ he exclaims, and worthy 
the frankness becoming a bishop, is the language of St. 
Hilary of Poitiers to Constantius. And what did the 
saint say to Caesar, who ruled after the fashion of Bismarck 
and his master ? l Tyrannus non jam humanorum, sed dim- 
norum es. Antichristum prcevenis et arcanorum mysteria 


ejus operaris. It was a strong thing to say to Caesar 
sitting in his purple robe. If St. Hilary lived in our day, 
he would soon be in a Prussian prison, with the learned 
Neander, if he ventured to applaud him, in the next cell. 
It was the popes, says Hurter, who saved Christianity 
6 from the tyranny of the temporal power, and from becom 
ing a mere State function, like religion among the Pagans. 7 
It was well for Hurter that his lot was not cast in the 
age of Bismarck. Even Leibnitz would have been deemed 
a mortal enemy by the Prussian Constantius. It was the 
inventor of the integral calculus who actually proposed, 
though a Protestant, to establish in Rome a tribunal to 
decide controversies between sovereigns, and to make the 
pope its president, as he really did, in former ages, figure 
as judge between Christian princes. But ecclesiastics 
should, at the same time, resume their ancient authority, 
and an interdict or an excommunication should make kings 
and kingdoms tremble, as in the days of Nicholas I or 
Gregory VII. Leibnitz would evidently be out of place 
in contemporary Prussian society. They have no room 
there for such as he was, except in their prisons j and 
those cheerful abodes will soon be too full to hold any more. 
" If popes no longer depose bad princes i by the author 
ity of Peter/ there are others who depose good ones 
without any authority at all. In order to depose them 
more effectually, they have taken to cutting off their heads. 
Cromwell and his fellows did it in England ; Mirabeau and 
his friends in France. These energetic anti-popes did 
not object at all to deposition, provided it was inflicted 
by themselves. They object to it still less now ; it has 
become a habit. Englishmen deposed James II, after 
murdering his father, and put a Dutchman in his place, 

CREED. 211 

In other lands they are always deposing somebody. The 
earth is strewn with deposed sovereigns. Sometimes 
they depose one another, in order to steal what does not 
belong to them. One of them has deposed the pope 
himself, at least for a time, and all the rest clap their 
hands. They do not see that by this last felony they have 
undermined every throne in Europe. Perhaps in a few- 
years there will not be a king left to be deposed. Since 
the secular was substituted everywhere for the spiritual 
authority, kings have fared badly. The popes only rebuked 
them when they did evil ; the mob is less discriminating. 
And the difference between the deposing power of the 
popes and that of the mob is this, that the first used it, 
like fathers, for the benefit of religion and society ; the 
second, like wild beasts, for the destruction of both." 

There is, therefore, among all true Catholics, but one 
unanimous voice as to the supreme authority of the head 
of the Roman Church, viz. : that Jesus, the Son of God 
and of man, gave to Peter and his successors that fulness 
of jurisdiction and power which will keep the Church in 
safety till he comes back in the day of judgment j and to 
deny that supreme authority is to be at sea, drifting about 
with the currents of opinion, and tossed on the troubled 
waves of Protestantism, Calvinism, Quakerism, Mormon- 
ism, Spiritualism, and all the other isms and sophisms. 

Now, in order that the great power and authority 
bestowed upon St. Peter should be often present to our 
minds, that apostle is represented with keys in his hand. 
He holds two : one a symbol of his jurisdiction, and the 
other of his orders. One key is turned toward heaven, 
to show that St. Peter had the power of opening or 
closing itj the other is directed toward the earth, to 


show that he had full authority over the faithful, and the 
power of imposing laws upon them. 

The pope, however, is not only the head of the Church, 
he is also a temporal prince. In the establishment of his 
Church, our divine Saviour did not consult the civil 
authorities ; neither Herod nor Pilate was asked for ap 
proval. If those rulers had not lived at all, they could not 
have been more completely ignored, so far as establishing 
the Church, preaching and teaching the doctrine of Christ, 
and performing all the offices of the Christian ministry, go. 
Csesar and his officers had no voice in this. They had 
authority in the kingdoms of the world, but none what 
ever in the kingdom of God. It was established, and to 
be spread and to last forever, whether they willed it or not. 
The apostles, especially the head of the apostles, and 
their successors, are to exercise their power in perfect 
freedom. They are freely to teach what is true, freely to 
condemn what is false j freely to denounce the crimes of 
men and of governments ; freely to constitute the hierarchy 
in various countries j freely to let persons have recourse to 
them in their doubts, and freely to reply to them ; freely 
to condemn those who refuse obedience to the Church ; 
freely to separate from the Church those who have 
separated themselves from her, by persisting in error or 
in disobedience ; freely to define religious and moral truths, 
that is, give laws binding on minds in believing, and on 
consciences in acting. The ruler of nations and the lord 
of many legions, though he had not been consulted at all 
in the establishment of the Church, was bound to hear her 
voice, like the humblest peasant, and submit his soul to 
her guidance, under pain of eternal banishment from the 
presence of God. He might pretend to command when 


it was his duty to obey, but the mistake was sure to be 
disastrous to himself, as indeed the final result proved. 

When the divine Master had finished his work, and his 
Vicar reigned in his place, the independence of the spiritual 
power, in its own province, was, if possible, still more 
evident. We know what was the attitude of the apostles 
toward the State. In questions of the soul, they set it at 
naught. They taught loyalty to Caesar in all that relig 
ion does not condemn, as their successors do at this day, 
so that among Christians was found a host of martyrs, 
but not a single conspirator or assassin f but when Csesar 
required disloyalty to God, the apostles and the Christians 
bade him defiance. They knew the penalty, and accepted 
it. It was perfectly understood that Csesar, like other 
beasts of prey, had claws and teeth, and could use them. 
He did use them with considerable effect. He had soldiers, 
lictors, prisons, axes, and scaffolds. But such engines, 
destructive as they were, could only hurt the flesh ; and 
the apostles and Christians were told not to " fear them 
that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul. 7 
They were warned that they would be " brought before 
governors," but that they were not even to take thought 
what they should say. The divine Master would teach 
them what to say. 

The conditions of the combat between Christ and Csesar, 
between the spiritual and the secular power, will never cease. 
In order that the head of his Church might enjoy perfect 
freedom in the exercise of his power, under God s provi 
dence the pope became a temporal prince. He obtained 
his temporal power before Constantine abandoned Rome, 
and it was confirmed and completed by Charlemagne, 
more than a thousand years ago. God inspired Christian 


princes to attach a principality to the Holy See, calleM the 
Patrimony of St. Peter, the States of the Church : " It 
has been the will of God," says Pius IX, " that the princes 
of the earth, even those who are not in communion with 
the Church of Rome, should defend and maintain the 
temporal sovereignty of the Holy See, which has been, 
by a disposition of divine Providence, enjoyed for many 
centuries by the Roman Pontiffs. The possession of 
that temporal dominion enables the reigning pope to 
exercise his supreme apostolical authority in the govern 
ment of the Universal Church with that liberty which is 
necessary to fulfil the duties of his apostolical office, and 
procure the salvation of -the flock of Christ." (Allocution, 
May 10th, 1850.) 

The pope, then, possesses his territory under a title 
higher and older than any government in the world. 
Napoleon I sought to destroy this temporal power of the 
pope, but was forced at last to admit the necessity of papal 
independence : " The pope," he said, " is not at Paris ; 
it is well : we reverence his authority precisely because he 
is not at Vienna nor at Madrid. At Vienna and at 
Madrid they feel the same with regard to Paris. It is, 
therefore, better that he should be neither with us nor 
with any of our rivals, but in Rome, his ancient seat, 
holding an equal balance between all sovereigns. This is 
the work of the centuries, and they have done well. The 
temporal power is the wisest and best institution that could 
be imagined in the government of souls." 

The temporal dominion of the pope being a moral 
necessity for the well-being of the Church, the Holy 
Father and the bishops have pronounced anathema against 
all those who impugn it. History, indeed, sometimes 


show! us the Supreme Pontiff under another aspect. 
There were times when his triple crown crumbled, when 
his sceptre shrunk to a hollow reed, when his throne be 
came a shadow, and his home a dungeon. But God per 
mitted this only to show us how inestimable is human 
virtue, when compared with human grandeur. Human 
grandeur may perish, but virtue is immortal. God per 
mitted it, to prove to the scoffing infidel world that the 
simplicity of the patriarchs, the piety of the saints, the 
patience of the martyrs, have not as yet vanished from the 
earth. God permitted it, in fine, to show the rabid enemies 
of our holy faith that, though our common father were in 
chains, though his motives were calumniated, and though 
his kingly power were destroyed, yet the Church, the holy 
Catholic Church of Jesus Christ, is still able to guide and 
to support her children, and to confound, if she cannot 
reclaim, her enemies. 

The pontiff is firm, immovable as a rock. No threats 
can awe, no promise can tempt, no sufferings can appall 
him. With exile, the dungeon, and death before his eyes, 
he dashes away the proffered cup, in which the pearl of 
his liberty is to be dissolved : " Non possumus" is his 
bold and noble language. " We can die, but we cannot 
give up the rights of the Church. 7 The Catholic world 
cannot, and will not, submit and agree to the sacrilegious 
occupation of the Papal States by any government. The 
voices of more than two hundred millions of Catholics will 
ring from every land under the sun, demanding perfect 
liberty of action for their common spiritual father, and 
the undisturbed possession of the Patrimony of St. Peter. 
The spirit of opposition to the temporal power of the pope 
is but the spirit of modern Paganism, which aims at the 


destruction of civil government, the rights of justice, the 
law of God and of man. All justice-loving men admit 
this. The opposers of the temporal power start from the 
pagan principle of separation of the temporal from the 
spiritual ; they are either bigots, or infidels, or vain and 
frothy theorizers, or corrupt politicians of the Masonic 
sect, or restless demagogues ; and if they be Christians, 
their faith sits as lightly on their conscience as a feather 
on the back of a whirlwind: they are all pervaded by the 
pestilential spirit of modern Paganism. When a govern 
ment becomes indifferent in religious matters, wishes to 
assume supreme control over the asylums of suffering 
humanity, secularizes churches and schools, caring only 
for the mere literary or arithmetical education of its sub 
jects ; when it makes laws infringing on the rights of 
conscience or property ; when it interferes with the sacra- 
mepts and the rites of the Church, then it is pagan in 
spirit. It endeavors to prevent men from attaining the 
end of creation ; it ceases to be a free government, or to 
fulfil the end for which all governments were instituted. 
Every temporal ruler who denies the pope s rights to his 
temporal power, will soon find his own abolished.* 

* When the pope is elected according to established regulations, and 
if he consents to his election, he becomes at once invested with author 
ity over the Universal Church, though he be neither a bishop nor a 
priest, nor deacon, nor subdeacon, but a mere cleric. He is capable 
of performing every act belonging to papal jurisdiction; he can, for 
instance, grant indulgences, pass censures, grant dispensations, 
appoint canons, institute bishops, create cardinals. But the peculiar 
power of the priesthood and the episcopacy, such as forgiving sins, 
administering the sacraments of confirmation and of holy orders, he 
cannot exercise until he has first been consecrated. From what has 
been said, it follows that the Papacy, the Sovereign Pontificate, is a 
dignity, not of orders, but of jurisdiction. If the pope be a bishop at 
the time of his election, he receives no other consecration. Being 


As the Papacy is of divim right, so also is the Episco 
pacy of divine right. Christ willed that there should be 
bishops to assist the pope in the government of the Church. 
For this reason St. Paul says, " The Holy Ghost hath 
placed you bishops to rule the Church of God." The word 
u bishop " means overseer, inspector, or superintendent. 

The choice of a bishop has to be made, or at least to 
be confirmed, by the pope ; from him each bishop holds 
his jurisdiction 6ver the territory assigned to him by 
the pope. Episcopal jurisdiction has been instituted by 
Christ in such a manner that each bishop should receive 
his jurisdiction from the pope, who makes the bishops 
sharers in the power of the keys which Christ gave to 
Peter alone, and, in his person, to his successors : " The 
Lord," says Tertullian, " has given the keys to St. Peter, 
and, through him, to the Church." St. Gregory of Nyssa 
says the same, in other words : " Through Peter, Christ 
has given the keys of the kingdom of heaven to the 
bishops." As Peter and his successors alone have re 
ceived the keys of the kingdom of God, they alone can 
communicate the use of them to the rest of the pastors. 
From Peter and his successors the bishops hold the 

clothed with the episcopal character, he is on an equality with the 
other bishops; but as pope, and vested with the dignity and authority 
of head of the Church, he is superior to all the pastors of the Church. 
If, at the time of his election, the pope is not in holy orders, he cao 
receive them all on the same day. The privilege of consecrating a 
pope who is no bishop at the time of his election, belongs to the Bishop 
of Ostia. 

When the pope is elected he changes his name, because he is the 
successor of St. Peter, whose name was changed by Jesus Christ. 

The pope can be taken from any rank of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. 
In the early ages of the Church, subdeacons were but seldom raised to 
the dignity of the Papacy ; but deacons were often elected. Priests 
were seldom chosen to fill that high office, and the appointment of 


jurisdiction wliich they exercise in their dioceses 5 it is by 
him that they hold, in their dioceses, the place of Christ, 
as priests, as pontiffs, as doctors, as legislators, as judges, 
as heads and pastors of the faithful under their jurisdiction, 
and are, as St. Paul says, ambassadors for Jesus Christ, 
God s coadjutors, who exhort the faithful by their mouth ; 
for all this is what constitutes jurisdiction. This ddetrine 
has been solemnly declared by Pius IX, in his Encyclical 
Letter of Nov. 9th, 184G, addressed to the archbishops 
and bishops of the Catholic Church : " Come with an 
open heart," he says, " and with full confidence, to the See 
of the blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, the centre of 
Catholic unity, and the summit of the episcopacy, whence 
the episcopacy itself derives its origin and its authority. 7 
Episcopal consecration, however, is not necessary for 

bishops to it was of very rare occurrence. The first pope raised from 
the episcopal office to the papal throne was Formosa, Bishop of Oporto, 
who was elected in 891. The discipline of the Church, in this respect, 
has undergone a great change; for, from about the end of the thirteenth 
century, it was the ordinary practice to select the pope from among the 
bishops, and from 1592 to 1775 we find but three popes elected who 
were no bishops at the time of their election. In our times, Clement 
XIV, Pius V, and Gregory XVI, were tho only persons who were sim 
ple priests at the time of their elevation to the Papacy. The pope is 
elected by the cardinals. For many centuries the pope was elected 
by the Roman clergy, and the faithful took a very active part in the 
election; but, for many years past, the election has been confined to 
the cardinals, who are the princes and senators of the Church, and are 
vested with a dignity inferior only to that of the pope. 

The learned are divided in their opinions in reference to the origin 
of cardinals, and the derivation of the name cardinal, Some think 
that cardinal comes from the word cardo, cardinalis, a hinge on which 
a gate or a door turns; because the cardinals are the hinges or pivots 
on which the government of the Church rolls. According to Baronius, 
Bellarmin, and other liturgical writers, the officiating priests of the 
parishes and churches of Rome were the first cardinals; and they were 
so called because, when they accompanied the pope to the altar, they 

CREED. 219 

the exercise of episcopal jurisdiction ; all that is neces 
sary is, that the election of a bishop should be confirmed 
by the pope. This confirmation of the pope gives to the 
bishop-elect canonical institution, and confers on him juris 
diction over all the faithful of the territory which has been 
assigned to him. This jurisdiction, received from the pope, 
may also be taken away by the pope. Bishops, however, 
cannot be deprived of the power which is essentially con 
nected with orders and the episcopal character, because 
that power is received immediately from God. Should, 
therefore, a bishop become a heretic, he still retains 
his episcopal character, in virtue of which he validly, 
though unlawfully, confers confirmation, holy orders, and 
offers the holy sacrifice of the Mass. 

stood ad cornua, that is, at the corners or angles of it. Besides the 
churches served by priests, there were a great many hospitals, the 
administration of which was intrusted to deacons. These deacons also 
attended the pope whenever he officiated, and, with the priests of the 
parishes, stood at the corners of the altar; hence, the distinction 
between the cardinal priests and the cardinal deacons. The titular 
bishops of the sees in the vicinity of Rome, called suburbicarian 
bishops, attended the pope on all solemn ceremonies, and took up 
their positions, like the priests and deacons of whom we have just 
spoken, at the corners of the altar, and hence the origin of cardinal 
archbishops. The latter, in virtue of their episcopal consecration, 
have always taken precedence over the cardinal priests and cardinal 

The dignity of cardinal, in the sense in which that word is now 
understood, is the highest in the Church, next to that of the pope. 
The cardinals are the princes and senators of the Church, the coun 
cillors of the pope, his coadjutors and vicars in the functions of the 
Sovereign Pontificate. They form the consistory, or the council of the 
pope, who selects them from all nations, to aid him in the government 
of the Church. 

By a Bull of Sixtus V, published in 1586, the number of cardinals 
was fixed at seventy. They are divided into three orders, namely: six 
cardinal bishops, fifty cardinal priests, and fourteen cardinal deacons. 


All bishops are on an equality as to their episcopal 
character, but the jurisdiction of some, of patriarchs, 
metropolitans, and archbishops, is more extended than 
that of others. This privilege of greater power is conferred 
by the pope alone, as he may think fit to grant to this 
or that bishop a greater or less share of the supreme 
authority which he holds over all the churches. 

In the early ages of the Church, the title patriarch 
(sovereign father, chief father) was given to the titular 
bishops of the sees of the most important cities, such as 
Alexandria, Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Antioch. The 
Patriarch of Rome has always been considered the universal 
patriarch. The bishops presiding over the capital cities 
of the empire were called metropolitans, but, in later times, 
archbishops, that is, chief bishops. The patriarchal 

The six cardinals of the first order are the Bishops of Ostia, Porto, 
Palestrina, Albano, Sabine, and Frescati, suffragans of the Patriarchate 
of the West. The cardinal priests are nearly all bishops, but, as they 
have only the title of priests, they belong to the second order. The 
cardinal deacons are so called, because their title is only that of 

In the council held at Lyons, in 1248, Pope Innocent IV presented 
to the cardinals the red hat, as a sign of their being obliged, if neces 
sary, to shed their blood for the cause of God and of his Church. In 
1464, Paul III presented them with the red cassock and cap. In 1630, 
the title of Eminence was given to them exclusively, by an order of 
Urban VIII. But the choicest and most glorious of tlieir privileges is 
that of electing the pope. The cardinals cannot, whilst the Holy See is 
vacant, exercise papal jurisdiction, nor have they the power of making 
laws, unless the interests of religion may urgently require it. ( Collegium 
Cardinalium sede papali vacante nullam hdbet potestatem condendi leges. 
llleiffenstuel.) The body of cardinals is called the College of Cardinals, 
or Sacred College. The assembly of cardinals, when they meet for the 
purpose of electing a pope, takes the name of Conclave. The word 
conclave is also applied to the place in which they meet for the purpose 
of the election, which is now the Quirinal Palace, where as many rooms 
have been prepared as there are cardinals, and where they remain shut 


churches were established by the Holy See, wherein the 
power rests of extending or limiting the jurisdiction of 
any bishop ; for, "everything," says St. Leo, " which 
Christ has given to the other bishops, has been given 
through St. Peter." 

Besides the pope and the bishops, there are other 
legitimate pastors, called parish priests, who are subject to 
their respective bishops ; for, as the bishop possesses the 
plenitude of the priesthood, he enjoys by divine right, that 
is, by Christ s institution, a superiority not only of prece 
dence and of honor, but even of authority, over all his 
priests, who, without his good-will and pleasure, can do 
nothing in regard to ecclesiastical matters. He is the 
pastor of his whole diocese. He can, therefore, give to 
this or that priest jurisdiction more or less extended. 

up till the election has taken place. They meet once a day in the chapel 
of the palace, where a scrutiny is made of their votes, which are writ 
ten and placed in an urn. This is repeated every day till two-thirds, at 
least, of the votes are in favor of one candidate for the Pontifical Chair, 
who is then considered duly elected. 

The pope may resign his power and authority. In the history of 
the Church we find more than one instance of a pope laying down his 
dignity and power, after having exercised them for some time. St. 
Celestine V, who, from a devout hermit, was raised to the Chair of 
Peter, abdicated his functions after a reign of scarcely four months 
and was succeeded by Cardinal Cajetan, under the name of Boniface 
Vin. Alarmed at the responsibility of the office, and finding tho 
performance of his usual exercises of prayer and meditation impractic 
able, he determined to go back to his former solitude, and in a 
Consistory held at Naples, he abdicated the Pontifical Chair, assumed 
his former name of Peter, put on again his old religious habit, and 
entreated those around to select an efficient successor. In the annals 
of the Church we find the names of others who willingly laid aside 
the power and authority conferred on them as Vicars of Christ. 

Everything connected with the dying moments of the pope ia 
invested with that solemnity and gravity suited to the high and holy 
office which, during life, he had fulfilled. His domestic prelates and 


For good reasons he can also restrict the jurisdiction 
which he had given, and even withdraw it altogether. 

In the early ages of Christianity, there was but one 
Church in each city or town, in which the faithful assem 
bled under the presidency of the bishop. But when, in 
the course of time, the number of Christians had consider 
ably increased, and bishops were unable to attend to the 
spiritual wants of their flock, dioceses were divided into 
parishes 5 that is, a union of many families, who assemble 
in a particular church, called parochial church, to assist 
at the holy sacrifice of the Mass, and the other duties of 
religion. Each parochial church is attended by a priest 
called the parish priest, whose duty it is to instruct the 
people in the way of salvation, and administer to them the 
sacraments of baptism, holy eucharist, penance, matri 
mony, and extreme unction. From a custom long estab- 

the chief dignitaries of his household are summoned around his bed. 
He then makes a profession of his faith, grants particular favors to all 
about him, requests their prayers, and receives from the hands of the 
Sacristan Prelate the holy Viaticum, and from the Cardinal Peniten 
tiary a plenary indulgence. If his state -will allow of it, he summons 
before him the College of Cardinals, in the presence of whom he 
renews his profession of faith. He recommends to them the Church 
of God, and engages them to select, as his successor, the person whom 
they believe most worthy to feed the sheep and the lambs. The 
domestic prelates remain at his bedside when he is in the agony of 
death, and the Sacristan Priest recites the recommendation of the 
departing soul, and a part of the passion. Scarcely has the pope 
breathed his last, when the Cardinal Camerlingo, preceded by the 
master of the ceremonies, repairs to the palace, and takes up his posi 
tion at the foot of the bed, on which the deceased pope lies, his face 
covered with a white veil. The cardinal kneels down, and offers up a 
short prayer. He then stands up, and the attendants uncover the face 
of the pope. The Camerlingo approaches the body, strikes three times 
the head of the deceased with a small silver hammer, and calls out 
his name three times. He then turns toward the assistants, and says, 
" The pope is indeed dead. ; (Power s Catechism.) 


lished, the parish priest can dispense his parishioners in 
matters of fasting and abstinence, and in the observation 
of Sundays and holydays. Parish priests are often assisted 
in their labor by other priests, called vicars or coadjutors. 
Every parish, then, has three immediate pastors : the pope, 
the bishop, and the parish priest. 

All the particular churches in the world profess their 
union with the Church of Rome. She is the mistress of 
all others : " To be united with the See of Rome," says 
St. Cyprian, " is to be united with the Catholic Church, 
for the Church of Rome is the principal Church ; the 
Bishop of Rome, the chief bishop ; the episcopal throne 
of this Church is the throne of Peter, the source and 
centre of ecclesiastical unity j and therefore all bishops 
of the world must, either directly or indirectly, be in 
communication with Rome, in order that, by thus com 
municating with her, the union of all may be preserved." 
And St. Irenseus, who lived in the first century, declares 
that, instead of scrutinizing the doctrine delivered by 
Christ and his apostles," and searching tradition, it is 
enough to inquire what is the teaching of the Church of 
Rome: " For it is necessary," says he, "that the whole 
Church, that is, the faithful of the whole world, should 
be in communion with this Church, on account of its more 
powerful authority ; in which communion the faithful of 
the whole world have preserved the tradition that was deliv 
ered by the apostles. When, therefore, you know the faith 
of this Church, you have also learned the faith of the others." 
(Contr. Haeret. iii, 3, n. 2.) " Whoever," says St. Jerome, 
" is not in communion with the Church of Rome, is outside 
the Church." (Adv. Jovian., lib. i, n. 26.) 

The One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, 


then, unites all the distinguishing marks of her divine 
institution and mission. Nowhere do these distinctive 
marks of the Church of Christ appear with more lustre 
than in those holy assemblies, called General Councils. 
The Church s unity appears most strikingly in the union 
of all the members to the same supreme head who con 
voked the council r presides over it, confirms and Executes 
its decrees. The sanctity of the Church is clearly seen 
in her condemnation of errors, and extirpation of abuses. 
The catholicity of the Church is seen in the convocation 
of the pastors of the whole Christian world ; and the aposto- 
licity of the Church is manifest in the assembly of all the 
bishops, the successors of the apostles, who are convoked, 
heard, and called to judge in matters of faith and morals, 
to regulate discipline, to acknowledge the authority of 
tradition, to confirm the doctrine of the apostles, and, 
after their return to their respective dioceses, to com 
municate to their diocesans " what hath seemed good to 
the Holy Ghost and to them ;" at which the hearts of all the 
faithful in the world are filled with consolation and joy, 
and deep gratitude toward Jesus Christ, who continues 
to speak to them through blessed Peter and the (ither 
apostles, in their lawful successors, the bishops of the 
One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church. 

11. Can Protestant sects claim to be One, Holy, Catholic 
and Apostolic ? 

By no means ; 1. Because they have no infallible head 
and teacher, and every Protestant believes tvhat he chooses 
to believe. 2. Because the founders of the sects u;ere all 
wicked men, who taught impious doctrines. 3. Because they 
sprang up only long after Christ had founded his Church. 

At the beginning of the sixteenth century, with the 


exception of the Greek schismatics, a few Lollards in 
England, some Wa-ldenses in Piedmont, scattered Albi- 
genses or Manicheans, and a few followers of Huss and 
Zisca among the Bohemians, all Europe was Roman Cath 
olic. England, Scotland, Ireland. Spain, Portugal, France, 
Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Holland, 
Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, every civilized nation 
was in the unity of the Catholic faith* Many of these 
nations were at the height of their power and prosperity. 
Portugal was pushing her discoveries beyond the Cape of 
Good Hope, and forming Catholic settlements in the East 
Indies. Christopher Columbus, a Roman Catholic, had 
discovered America, under the patronage of the Catholic 
Isabella of Spain. England was in a state of great pros 
perity. Her two Catholic Universities of Oxford and 
Cambridge contained, at one time, more than fifty 
thousand students. The country was covered with noble 
churches, abbeys, and monasteries, and with hospitals, 
where the poor were fed, clothed, and instructed. 

However, the progress of civilization tended to foster a 
spirit of pride, and encourage the lust of novelties. The 
prosperity of the Church led to luxury, and in many cases 
to a relaxation of discipline. There were, as there always 
have been, in every period of the Church, the days of 
the apostles not excepted, bad men in the Church. The 
wheat and tares grow together until the harvest. The 
net of the Church encloses good and bad. The writings 
of Wickliffe, Huss, and their followers, had unsettled the 
minds of many. Princes were restive under the check 
held by the Church upon their rapacity and lusts. A 
Henry VIII, for example, wanted to divorce a wife to 
whom he had been married twenty years, that he might 


marry a young and pretty one. He could not do this, so 
long as he acknowledged the spiritual supremacy of the 
pope. Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, wanted two wives. 
No pope would give him a dispensation to marry and live 
with two women at once. Then there were multitudes of 
wicked and avaricious nobles, who wanted but an excuse 
to plunder the churches, abbeys, and monasteries, whose 
property was held in trust for the education of the people, 
and the care of the poor, aged, and sick, all over Europe. 
Then there were priests and monks eager to embrace a 
relaxed discipline j and many people who, incited by the 
cry of liberty, were ready to rush into license, and make 
war upon every principle of religion and social order, as 
soon as circumstances would favor the outbreak of this 
rebel spirit in individuals and masses. Now when God, 
says St. Gregory, sees in the Church many revelling in 
their vices, and, as St. Paul observes, believing in God, 
confessing the truth of his mysteries, but belying their 
faith by their works, he punishes them by permitting that, 
after having lost grace, they also lose the holy kn6wledge 
which they had of his mysteries, and that, without any 
other persecution than that of their vices, they deny the 
faith. It is of these David speaks, when he says : " De 
stroy Jerusalem to its foundations " (Ps. cxxxvi, 7) ; leave 
not a stone upon a stone. When the wicked spirits have 
ruined in a soul the edifice of virtue, they sap its foundation, 
which is faith. St. Cyprian, therefore, said : " Let no 
one think that virtuous men and good Christians ever 
leave the Wsom of the Church j it is not the wheat that 
the winds lift, but the chaff ; trees deeply rooted are not 
blown down by the breeze, but those which have no roots. 
It is rotten fruits that fall off the trees, not sound ones ; bad 


Catholics become heretics, as sickness is engendered by 
bad humors. At first, faith languishes in them, because of 
their vices ; then it becomes sick j next it dies, because 
since sin is essentially a blindness of spirit, the more a 
man sins, the more he is blinded ; his faith grows weaker 
and weaker ; the light of this divine torch decreases, and 
soon the least wind of temptation or doubt suffices to 
extinguish it." Witness the great defection from faith in 
the sixteenth century, when God permitted heresies to 
arise, in order to exercise his justice against those who 
were ready to abandon the truth, and his mercy toward 
those who remained attached to it 5 to prove, by trials, 
those who were firm in the faith, and to .separate them 
from those who loved error ; to exercise ,the patience and 
charity of the Church, and to sanctify the el6ct; to give 
occasion for the illustration of religious truth and the holy 
Scripture ; to make pastors more vigilant, and value more 
the sacred deposit of faith j in fine, to render the authority 
of tradition more clear and incontestable. Heresy arose 
in all its strength j Martin Luther was its ringleader and 
its spokesman. 

Martin Luther, an Augustinian friar, a bold man and a 
vehement declaimer, having imbibed erroneous sentiments 
from the heretical writings of John Huss of Bohemia, took 
occasion, from the publication of indulgences promulgated 
by Pope Leo X, to break with the Catholic Church, and 
to propagate his new errors, in 1517, at Wirtemberg, in 
Saxony. He first inveighed against the abuse of indul 
gences ; then he called in question their efficacy j and at last 
totally rejected them. He declaimed against the supremacy 
of the See of Rome, and condemned the whole Church, 
pretending that Christ had abandoned it, and that it wanted 


reforming, as well in faith as discipline. Thus this new 
evangelist commenced that fatal defection from the ancient 
faith, which was styled u Reformation." The new doctrines, 
being calculated to gratify the vicious inclinations of the 
human heart, spread with the rapidity of an inundation. 
Frederick, Elector of Saxony, John Frederick, his suc 
cessor, and Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, became Ltither s 
disciples. Gustavus Ericus, King of Sweden, and Christian 
III, King of Denmark, also declared in favor of Lut-her- 
anism. It secured a footing in Hungary. Poland, after 
tasting a great variety of doctrines, left to every individual 
the liberty of choosing for himself. Muncer, a disciple of 
Luther, set up for doctor himself, and, with Nicholas Stark, 
gave birth to the ect of Anabaptists, which was propagated 
in Suabia, and other provinces of Germany, in the Low 
Countries. Calvin, a man of bold, obstinate spirit, and 
indefatigable in his labors, in imitation of Luther, turned 
Reformer also. He contrived to have his new tenets received 
at Geneva, in 1541. After his death, Beza preached the 
same doctrine. It insinuated itself into some parts of 
Germany, Hungary, and Bohemia, and became the religion 
of Holland. It was imported by John Knox, an apostate 
priest, into Scotland, where, under the name of Presby- 
terianism, it took deep root, and spread over the kingdom. 
But, among the deluded nations, none drank more deeply 
of the cup of error than England. For many centuries 
this country had been conspicuous in the Christian world 
for the orthodoxy of its belief, as also for the number of its 
saints. But by a misfortune never to be sufficiently 
lamented, and by unfathomable judgment from above, its 
Church shared a fate which seemed the least to threaten 
it. The lust and avarice of one despotic sovereign threw 

CREED. 229 

down the fair edifice, and tore it off from the rock on 
which it had hitherto stood. Henry VIII, at first a 
valiant asserter of the Catholic faith against Luther, giv 
ing way to the violent passions which he had not sufficient 
courage to curb, renounced the supreme jurisdiction which 
the pope had always held in the Church, presumed to arro 
gate to himself that power in his own dominions, and thus 
gave a deadly blow to religion. He then forced his subjects 
into the same fatal defection. Once introduced, it soon 
overspread the land. Being, from its nature, limited by 
no fixed principle, it has since taken a hundred differ 
ent shapes, under different names, such as : the Calvinists, 
Arminians, Antinomians, Independents, Kilhamites, Glass- 
ites, Haldanites, Bereans, Swedenborgians, New-Jeru- 
salemites, Orthodox Quakers, Hicksites, Shakers, Panters, 
Seekers, Jumpers, Reformed Methodists, German Metho 
dists, Albright Methodists, Episcopal Methodists, Wesleyan 
Methodists, Methodists North, Methodists South, Protestant 
Methodists, Episcopalians, High Church Episcopalians, 
Low Church Episcopalians, Ritualists, Puseyites, Dutch 
Reformed, Dutch non-Reformed, Christian Israelites, 
Baptists, Particular Baptists, Seventh-day Baptists, Hard 
shell Baptists, Softshell Baptists, Forty Gallon Baptists, 
Sixty Gallon Baptists, African Baptists, Free-will Baptists, 
Church of God Baptists, Regular Baptists, Anti-mission 
Baptists, Six Principle Baptists, River Brethren, Wine- 
bremarians, Menonites, Second Adventists, Millerites, 
Christian Baptists, Universalists, Orthodox Congrega- 
tionalists, Campbellites, Presbyterians, Old School and 
New School Presbyterians, Cumberland Presbyterians, 
United Presbyterians, The Only True Church of Christ, 
573 Bowery, N. Y. ? up stairs, 5th story, Latter-day Saints, 


Restorationists, Schwentfelders, Spiritualists, Mormons, 
Christian Perfectionists, etc., etc., etc. All these sects 
called Protestants, because they all unite in protesting are 
against their mother, the Roman Catholic Church. . 

Some time after, when the reforming spirit had reached 
its full growth, Dudithius, a learned Protestant divine, in 
his epistle to Beza, wrote : " What sort of people are our 
Protestants, straggling to and fro, and carried about by 
every wind of doctrine, sometimes to this side, sometimes 
to that ? You may, perhaps, know what their sentiments 
in matters of religion are to-day, but you can never tell 
precisely what they will be to-morrow. In what article 
of religion do these churches agree which have cast off 
the Bishop of Rome? Examine all from top to bottom, 
and you will scarce find one thing affirmed by one, which 
was not immediately condemned by another for wicked 
doctrine." The same confusion of opinions was described 
by an English Protestant, the learned Dr. Walton, about 
the middle of the last century, in his preface to his Polyglot, 
where he says : " Aristarchus heretofore could scarce find 
seven wise men in Greece ; but with us, scarce are to be 
found so many idiots. For all are doctors, all are divinely 
learned ; there is not so much as the meanest fanatic who 
does not give you his own dreams for the word of God. 
The bottomless pit seems to have been opened, from 
whence a smoke has arisen which has darkened the 
heaven and the stars, and locusts have come out with 
stings, a numerous race of sectaries and heretics, who have 
renewed all the ancient heresies, and invented many mon 
strous opinions of their own. These have filled our cities, 
villages, camps, houses, nay, our pulpits, too, and lead the 
poor deluded people with them to the pit of perdition." 


" Yes," writes another author, " every ten years, or nearly 
so, the Protestant theological literature undergoes a com 
plete revolution. What was admired during the one 
decennial period is rejected in the next,- and the image 
which they adored is burnt, to make way for new divin 
ities j the dogmas which were held in honor, fall into dis 
credit ; the classical treatise of morality is banished among 
the old books out of date j criticism overturns criticism ; 
the commentary of yesterday ridicules that of the previous 
day, and what was clearly proved in 1840, is not less 
clearly disproved in 1850. The theological systems of 
Protestantism are as numerous as the political constitutions 
of France one revolution only awaits another." (Le 
Semeur, June, 1850.) It is indeed utterly impossible to 
keep the various members of one single sect from per 
petual disputes, even about the essential truths of revealed 
religion. And those religious differences exist not only 
in the same sect, not Only in the same country and town, 
but even in the same family. Nay, the self-same individual, 
at different periods of his life, is often in flagrant contra 
diction with himself. To-day he avow opinions which 
yesterday he abhorred, and to-morrow he will exchange 
these again for new ones. At last, after belonging, succes 
sively, to various new-fangled sects, he generally ends by 
professing unmitigated contempt for them all. By their 
continual disputes and bickerings, and dividing and sub 
dividing, the various Protestant sects have made themselves 
the scorn^of honest minds, the laughing-stock of the pagan 
and the infidel. 

These human sects, the "works of the flesh," as St. 
Paul calls them, alter their shape, like clouds, but feel no 
blow, says Mr. Marshall, because they have no substance. 


They fight a good deal with one another, but nobody 
minds it, not even themselves, nor cares what becomes of 
them. If one human sect perishes, it is always easy to 
make another, or half a dozen. They have the life of 
worms, and propagate by corruption. Their life is so 
like death that, except by the putridity which they exhale 
in both stages, it is impossible to tell which is which, 
and when they ^are buried, nobody can find their grave. 
They have simply disappeared. 

The spirit of Protestantism, or the spirit of revolt 
against God and his Church, sprung up from the Reformers 
spirit of incontinency, obstinacy and covetousness. Luther, 
in despite of the vow he had solemnly made to God of 
keeping continency, married a nun, Equally bound as him 
self to that sacred religious promise ; but, as St. Jerome 
says, "it is rare to find a heretic that loves chastity." 

Luther s example had indeed been anticipated by Carlo- 
stadtius, a priest and ringleader of the Sacramentarians, 
who had married a little before ; and it was followed by 
most of the heads of the Reformation. 

Zwihglius, a priest and chief of the sect that bore his 
name, took a wife. 

Bucer, a member of the order of St. Dominic, became 
a Lutheran, left his cloister, and married a nun. 

OEcolampadius, a Brigittin monk, became a Zwinglian, 
and also married. 

Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, had also his wife. 

Peter Martyr, a canon-regular, embraced the doctrine 
of Calvin, but followed the example of Luther, and mar 
ried a nun. 

Ochin, General of the Capuchins, became a Lutheran, 
and also married. 


Thus the principal leaders in the Reformation went 
forth * preaching the new gospel, with two marks upon 
them : apostasy from faith, and open violation of the most 
sacred vows. 

The passion of lust, as has been already said, hurried 
also Henry VIII of England into a separation from the 
Catholic Church, and ranked him among the Reformers. 

Those wicked men could not be expected to teach a 
holy doctrine j they preached up a hitherto unheard-of 
11 evangelical liberty," as they styled it. They told 
their fellow-men that they were no longer obliged to 
subject their understanding to the mysteries of faith, 
and to regulate their actions according to the laws of 
Christian morality ; they told that every one was free to 
model his belief and practice as it suited his inclinations. 
In pursuance of this accommodating doctrine, they dissected 
the Catholic faith till they reduced it to a mere skeleton ; 
they lopped off the reality of the body and blood of Christ, 
in the Holy Eucharist, the divine Christian sacrifice offered 
in the Mass, confession of sins, most of the sacraments, 
penitential exercises, several of the canonical books of 
Scripture, the invocation of saints, celibacy, most of the 
General Councils of the Church, and all present Church 
authority j they perverted the nature of justification, 
asserting that faith alone suffices to justify man ; they 
made God the author of sin, and maintained the observance 
of the commandments to be impossible. 

As a few specimens of Luther s doctrine, take the fol 
lowing : " God s commandments are all equally impos 
sible." (De Lib. Christ., t. ii, fol. 4.) " No sins can 
damn a man, but only unbelief." (De Captio. Bab., t. ii, 
fol. 171.) " God is just, though by his own will he lays 


us under the necessity of being damned, and though he 
damns those who have not deserved it." (Tom. ii, foil. 434, 
436.) u God works in us both good and evil." (Toni. ii, 
fol. 444.) " Christ s body is in every place, no less 
than the divinity itself." (Tom. iv, fol. 37.) Then for his 
darling principle of justification by faith, in his eleventh 
article against Pope Leo, he says : " Believe strongly that 
you are absolved, and absolved you will be, whether you 
have contrition or no." 

Again, in his sixth article : " The contrition which is 
acquired by examining, recollecting, and detesting one s 
sins, whereby a man calls to mind his life past, in the bit 
terness of his soul, reflecting on the heinousness and mul 
titude of his offences, the loss of eternal bliss, and 
condemnation to eternal woe, this contrition, I say, makes 
a man a hypocrite, nay, even a greater sinner than he was 

Thus, after the most immoral life, a man has a compen 
dious method of saving himself, by simply believing that 
his sins are remitted through the merits of Christ. 

As Luther foresaw the scandal that would arise from his 
own and such like sacrilegious marriages, he prepared 
the world for it, by writing against the celibacy of 
the clergy and all religious vows j and all the way up, 
since his time, he has had imitators. He proclaimed that 
all such vows u were contrary to faith, to the command 
ments of God, and to evangelical liberty." (De Votis 
Monast.) He said again : " God disapproves of such a 
vow of living in continency, equally as if I should vow 
to become the mother of God, or to create a new world." 
(Epist. ad Wolfgang Reisemb.) And again: " To attempt 
to live unmarried, is plainly to fight against God." 

CREED. 235 

Now, when men give a loose rein to the depravity of 
nature, what wonder if the most scandalous practices 
ensue f Accordingly, a striking instance of this kind 
appeared in the license granted in 1539 to Philip, Land 
grave of Hesse, to have two wives at once, which license 
was signed by Luther, Melanchthon, Bucer, and five Other 
Protestant divines. 

On the Other hand, a wide door was laid open to another 
species of scandal : the doctrine of the Reformation 
admitted divorces in the marriage state in certain cases, 
contrary to the doctrine of the Gospel, and even allowed 
the parties thus separated to marry other wives and 
other husbands. 

To enumerate the errors of all the Reformers would 
exceed the limits of this work. I shall therefore only 
add the principal heads of the doctrine of Calvin and the 
Calvinists : 1, that baptism is not necessary for salvation ; 
2, good works are not necessary j 3, man has no free 
will ; 4, Adam could not avoid his fall 5 5, a great part of 
mankind are created to be damned, independently of their 
demerits : 6, man is justified by faith alone, and that 
justification, once obtained, cannot be lost, even by the 
most atrocious crimes j 7, the true faithful are also infal 
libly certain of their salvation ; 8, the Eucharist is no 
more than a figure of the body and blood of Christ. 
Thus was the whole system of faith and morality over 
turned. Tradition they totally abolished ; and, though they 
could not reject the whole of the Scripture, as being 
universally acknowledged to be the word of God, they 
had, however, the presumption to expunge some books of 
it that did not coincide with their own opinions, and the 
rest they assumed a right to explain as they saw fit. 


To pious souls, they promised a return to the fervor -of 
primitive Christianity ; to the proud, the liberty of private 
judgment ; to the enemies of the clergy, they promised the 
division of their spoils ; to priests and monks who were 
tired of the yoke of continence, the abolition of a law 
which they said was contrary to nature j to libertines of 
all classes, the suppression of fasting, abstinence, and con 
fession. They said to kings who wished to place them 
selves at the head of the Church as well as the State, 
that they would be freed from the spiritual authority 
of the Church ; to nobles, that they would ,seer a- rival 
order humbled and impoverished ; to the middle classes, 
and the vassals of the Church, that they would be em^n^ 
cipated from all dues and forced services. 

Several princes of Germany and of the Swiss cantons 
supported by arms the preachers of the new doctrines. 
Henry VIII imposed his doctrine on his subjects. The 
King of Sweden drew his people into apostasy. The 
Court of Navarre welcomed the Calvinists ; the Court of 
France secretly favored them. 

At length Pope Paul III convoked a General Council 
at Trent, in 1545, to which the heresiarchs had appealed. 
Not only all the Catholic bishops, but also all Christian 
princes, even Protestants, were invited to come. 

But now the spirit of pride and obstinacy became most 
apparent. Henry VIII replied to the pope that he 
would never intrust the work of reforming religion in 
his kingdom to any one except to himself. The apostate 
princes of Germany told the papal legate that they recog 
nized only the emperor as their sovereign ; the Viceroy of 
Naples allowed but four bishops to go to the council ; the 
King of France sent only three prelates, whom he soon 

CREED. 237 

after recalled. Charles V created difficulties, and put 
obstacles in the way. Gustavus Vasa allowed no one to 
go to the council. The heresiarchs also refused to appear. 
The council, however, was held, in spite of these difficul 
ties. It la sted over eighteen years, because it was often 
interrupted by the plague, by war, and by the deaths of 
those who -had to preside over it. The doctrines of the 
innovators were examined and condemned by the council, 
at the last session of which there were more than three 
hundred bishops present j among whom were nine cardi 
nals, -three patriarchs, thirty-three archbishops, not to 
, mention sixteen abbots or generals of religious orders, 
.and one hundred and forty-eight theologians. All the 
decrees published from the commencement were read 
over, and * were again approved and subscribed by the 
Fathers. Accordingly, Pius IV, in a consistory held on 
the 26th of January, 1564, approved and confirmed the 
council in. a book which was signed by all the cardinals. 
He drew up, the same year, a profession of faith conform 
able in all respects with the definitions of the council, in 
which it is declared that its authority is accepted j and 
since that time, not only all bishops of the Catholic 
Church, but all priests who are called to teach the way 
of salvation even to children, nay, all non-Catholics, on 
abjuring their errors, and returning to the bosom of the 
Church, have sworn that they had no other faith than that 
of this holy council. 

The new heresiarchs, however, continued to obscure 
and disfigure the face of religion. As to Luther s senti 
ments in regard to the pope, bishops, councils, etc., 
he says, in the preface to his book, u De Abroganda 
Missa Privata :" " With how many powerful remedies and 


most evident Scriptures have I scarce been able to fortify 
my conscience so as to dare alone to contradict the pope, 
and to believe him to be Antichrist, the bishops his apostles, 
and the universities his brothel-houses ; " and in his book, 
" De Judicio Ecdesice de Gram Doctrina" he says : " Christ 
takes from the bishops, doctors and councils, both the right 
and power of judging controversies, and gives them to all 
Christians in general." 

His censure on the Council of Constance, and those that 
compose it, is as follows : " All John Huss s articles were 
condemned at Constance by Antichrist and his apostles " 
(meaning the pope and bishops), u in that synod of Satan, 
made up of most wicked sophisters ; and you, most holy 
Vicar of Christ, I tell you plainly to your face, that all 
John Huss s condemned doctrines are evangelical and 
Christian, but all yours are impious and diabolical. I 
now declare," says he, speaking to the bishops, u that for 
the future I will not vouchsafe you so much ho nor as to 
submit myself or doctrine to your judgment, or to that of 
an angel from heaven." (Preface to his book, " Adversus 
falso nominatum ordinem Episcoporum.") Such was his 
spirit of pride that he made open profession of contempt for 
the authority of the Church, councils, and Fathers, saying : 
" All those who will venture their lives, their estates, their 
honor, and their blood, in so Christian a work as to root 
out all bishoprics and bishops, who are the ministers of 
Satan, and to pluck by the roots all their authority and 
jurisdiction in the world, these persons are the true chil 
dren of God, and obey his commandments." ( u Contra Sta- 
tum Ecdesice et falso nominatum ordinem Episcoporum.") 

This spirit of pride and of obstinacy is also most appar 
ent from the fact that Protestantism has never been ashamed 


to make use of any arguments, though ever so frivolous, 
inconsistent, or absurd, to defend its errors, and to slander 
and misrepresent the Catholic religion in every way 
possible. It shows itself again in the wars which Protes 
tantism has waged to introduce and maintain itself. The 
apostate princes of Germany entered into a league, offen 
sive and defensive, against the Emperor Charles V, and 
rose up in arms to establish Protestantism. 

Luther had preached licentiousness, and reviled the 
emperor, the princes, and the bishops. The peasants lost 
no time in freeing themselves from their masters. They 
overran the country in lawless bands, burnt down castles 
and monasteries, and committed the most barbarous cruel 
ties against the nobility and clergy. Germany became 
at last the scene of desolation and most cruel atrocities 
during the Thirty Years 7 War (1618-1648). More than 
one hundred thousand men fell in battle, seven cities 
were dismantled, one thousand religious houses were razed 
to the ground j three hundred churches, and immense 
treasures of statuary, paintings, books, etc., were destroyed. 

But what is more apparent and better known than the 
spirit of covetousness of Protestantism ? Wherever Protes 
tantism secured a footing, it pillaged churches, seized 
Church property, destroyed monasteries and appropriated 
to itself their revenues. 

In France, the Calvinists destroyed twenty thousand 
Catholic churches j they murdered, in Dauphiny alone, 
two hundred and fifty-five priests, one hundred and twelve 
monks, and burned nine hundred towns and villages. In 
Kngland, Henry VIII confiscated to the crown, or dis 
tributed among his favorites, the property of six hun 
dred and forty-five monasteries and ninety colleges, one 


hundred and ten hospitals, and two thousand three hun 
dred and seventy-four free-chapels and chantries. 

They even dared to profane, with sacrilegious hands, 
the remains of the martyrs and co nfessors of God. In 
ma ny places they forcibly took up the saints bo dies 
from the repositories where they were kept, burned them, 
and scattered their ashes abroad. What more atrocious 
indignity can be conceived ? Are parricides or the most 
flagitious men ever worse treated ? Among 6ther instances, 
in 1562, the Calvinists broke open the shrine of St. 
Francis of Paula, at Plessis-Lestours ; and finding his body 
uncorrupted fifty-five years after his death, they dragged 
it about the streets, and burned it in a fire which they 
had made with the wood of a large crucifix, as Billet and 
other historians relate. 

Thus at Lyons, in the same year, the Calvinists seized 
upon the shrine of St. Bonaventure, stripped it of its 
riches, burned the saint s relics in the market-place, and 
threw his ashes into the river Saone, as is related by the 
learned Possevinus, who was in Lyons at the time. 

The bodies, also, of St. Irenseus, St. Hilary, and St. 
Martin, as Surius asserts, were treated in the same 
ignominious manner. Such, also, was the treatment offered 
to the remains of St. Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, 
whose rich shrine, according to the words of Stowe, in 
his Annals, " was taken to the king s use, and the bones 
of St. Thomas, by the command of Lord Cromwell, were 
burnt to ashes in September, 1538. 

The Catholic religion has covered the world with its 
superb monuments. Protestantism has now lasted three 
hundred years ; it was powerful in England, in Germany, 
in America. What has it raised ? It will show us the 


ruins which it has made, amidst which it has planted 
some gardens, or established some factories. The Cath 
olic religion is essentially a creative power, built up, not to 
destroy, because it is under the immediate influence of 
that Holy Spirit which the Church invokes as the creative 
Spirit, " Creator Spiritus." The Protestant, or modern ^ 
philosophical spirit, is a principle of destruction, of per 
petual decomposition and disunion. Under the dominion 
of English Protestant power, for four hundred years, 
Ireland was rapidly becoming as naked and void of 
ancient memorials as the wilds of Africa. 

The Reformers themselves were so ashamed of the 
progress of immorality among their proselytes, that they 
could not help complaining against it. Thus spoke Luther : 
" Men are now more revengeful, covetous, and licentious, 
than they were ever in the Papacy." (Postil. super Evang. 
Dom. i, Advent.) Then again : "Heretofore, when we were 
seduced by the pope, every man willingly performed good 
works, but now no man says or knows anything else than 
how to get all to himself by exactions, pillage, theft, lying, 
usury." (Postil. super Evang. Dom. xxvi, p. Trinit.) 

Calvin wrote in the same strain : " Of so many thou 
sands," said he, " who, renouncing Popery, seemed eagerly 
to embrace the Gospel, how few have amended their lives ! 
Nay, what else did the greater part pretend to, than, by 
shaking off the yoke of superstition, to give themselves 
more liberty to follow all kinds of licentiousness ? " (" Liber 
de Scandalis") Dr. Heylin, in his History of the Refor 
mation, complains also of " the great increase, of vicious- 
ness " in England, in the reforming reign of Edward VI. 

Erasmus says : " Take a view of this evangelical 
people, the Protestants. Perhaps tis my misfortune, but 


I never yet met with one who does not appear changed 
for the worse." (Epist. ad Vultur. Neoc.) And again : 
" Some persons/ 7 says he, a whom I knew formerly 
innocent, harmless, and without deceit, no sooner have I 
seen them joined to that sect (the Protestants), than they 
began to talk of wenches, to play at dice, to leave off 
prayers, being grown extremely worldly, most impatient, 
revengeful, vain, like vipers, tearing one another. I speak 
by experience." (" Ep. ad Fratres Infer. Germanise" 

M. Scherer, the principal of a Protestant school in 
France, wrote, in 1844, that he beholds in his reformed 
church u the ruin of all truth, the weakness of infinite 
division, the scattering of flocks, ecclesiastical anarchy, 
Socinianism ashamed of itself, Rationalism coated like a 
pill, without doctrine, without consistency. This Church, 
deprived alike of i^s corporate and its dogmatic character, 
of its form and of its doctrine, deprived of all that con 
stituted it a Christian church, has in truth ceased to exist 
in the ranks of religious communities. Its name continues, 
but it represents only a corpse, a phantom, or, if you 
will, a memory or a hope. For want of dogmatic 
authority, unbelief has made its way into three-fourths of 
our pupils." ( a IJEtat Actualde TEglise Eeform6e en France, 

Such has been Protestantism from the beginning. It is 
written in blood and fire upon the pages of history. 
Whether it takes the form of Lutheranism in Germany, 
Denmark, and Sweden Anglicanism in Great Britain, or 
Calvinism and Presbyterianism in Switzerland, France, 
Holland, Scotland, and America, it has been everywhere 
the same. It has risen by tumult and violence j propa 
gated itself by force and persecution 5 enriched itself by 

CREED. 243 

plunder, and has never ceased, by o pen force, persecuting 
laws or slander, its attempt to exterminate the Catholic 
faith, and destroy the Church of Christ, which the fathers 
of Protestantism left from the spirit of lust, pride, and 
covetousness, a spirit which induced so many of their 
countrymen to follow their wicked example j a spirit, on 
account of which they would have been lost anyhow, even 
if they had not left their mother, the One Holy Eoman 
Catholic and Apostolic Church. Having seen the total 
absence of unity in Protestantism, total absence of holi 
ness in its authors and their principles, total absence of 
catholicity ) for want of truth, which alone can rule and 
enforce obedience everywhere throughout the world j and 
total absence of apostolicity , because it arose only three 
hundred years, ago, and no honest man will say that the 
apostles were Protestants, it is easy to answer the 
question : 

12. If, then, only the Roman Church is one, holy, Cath 
olic and Apostolic, what follows I 

It follows that the Eoman Catholic Church alone is the 
one true Church of Christ. 

There are men foolish enough to talk of Protestantism 
as if it were a name for some religious faith, system, or 
organization ! They even speak of the Protestant religion, 
or the Protestant Church ! There is nothing of the kind. 
There is, and there can be, but one true religion. The 
word " religion," says St. Augustine, is derived from the 
Latin word re-eligendo (to reelect), because, after having 
lost our Lord by sin, we ought to reelect, or choose him 
again, as our true and only Lord and sovereign Master. 
But, according to the same saint, the word a religion w is 
derived from reiigando (to reunite), because, it reunites 


man with God, with whom he was primitively united, 
but from whom he voluntarily separated by sin. Hence, 
according to St. Thomas Aquinas, religion is a virtue 
which teaches us to live in union with God. Now, to live 
in union with God is to keep our will united to his ; in 
other words, it is to do the will of God. Religion, there 
fore, is the knowing and doing of God s will. He alone 
who knows and does the will of God has religion is a 
truly religious man. Hence religion has always been one 
and the same : 1, in its Author, who is God, who taught 
man his will, either in person or through those to whom he 
made his will known ; 2, in its doctrine. 

As God has always taught man the same truths con 
cerning himself, man, the world, morality, divine worship, 
grace, the object of religion, and the means to preserve and 
spread it, it is clear that religion must always have been 
one and the same from the beginning of the world. 

As to himseif, God has always taught, from the begin 
ning of the world, that he alone is the only one God, 
infinitely perfect, the Creator and Redeemer of all things ; 
that the Redeemer would save the world, and that we 
would be sanctified by his Spirit. These truths, however, 
are more fully known to Christians than they were to 
the Jews. 

Concerning man, God has always taught that he created 
him to his likeness, being composed of a body, and a soul 
which is spiritual, free, and immortal ; that man fell through 
his own fault ; that all men are born in a state of sin and 
degradation ; that they will all rise at the last day, and that 
tliere will be eternal rewards for the just, and eternal punish 
ments for the wicked. 

With regard to the world, God has always taught that 


he created it out of nothing j that, by his infinite power 
and wisdom, he governed and preserved it j that he will 
purify it by fire, and that there will be a new heaven and 
a new earth. 

As to morality, God has always taught the same laws, 
the same distinction between good and e>il ; always com 
mended the same virtues, and condemned the same vices. 

As to his worship, God has always taught the same two 
essential acts of worship, viz. : prayer and sacrifice. 

As to grace, God has always taught that it was neces 
sary for every man to be saved j that he would give it, on 
account of the Redeemer, to all those who would use those 
means through which he wished to bestow it. 

As to the object of religion, God has always taught that 
it was to destroy sin, and to lead men to true happiness. 

As to the means of preserving and spreading it, God 
has always used the same means, choosing certain men, 
and investing them with his own authority, to teach his 
religion authoritatively, and with divine certainty. So 
that to hear and believe the infrMible teachers chosen and 
sent by God, is to hear and to believe God himself. Such 
infallible teachers were, as we have seen, the patriarchs 
and Moses and the prophets, before the coming of the 
Redeemer ; and Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and his 
teaching Church, St. Peter and the other apostles, and 
their lawful successors, in the New Law. As religion has 
always been one and the same from the beginning of the 
world, because the same God has always taught one and 
the same religion, in like manner the teaching authority 
has always been the same, which is God s own infallible 
authority, invested in those of whom he said : " He who 
heareth you heareth me." There has, therefore, always 


been but one and the same religion, but one and the samo 
Church. As man, by passing through the different stages 
of life, does not cease to be the same man, so religion has 
never ceased to be the same, though it has not at all times 
been taught as fully as it is at the present day ; and the 
Christian religion, as taught by Christ in the Roman 
Catholic Church, is far more perfect, and is far richer in 
graces, than it was before the coming of the Redeemer. 

It is, therefore, quite absurd to speak of Protestantism 
as of a religion or church j the truth is one, errors are 
many ; the Church, the pillar and ground of truth, is one j 
sects are many that deny the truth an,d the Church s in 
fallible authority to teach truth. Every sensible man, 
then, seeing a class of men drawn into a whirlpool of end 
less religious variations and dissensions, is forced to say : 
" This is only an ephemeral sect, without substance and 
without any divine authority j it is a plant not planted by 
the hand of Almighty God, and therefore it will be rooted 
up j it is a kingdom divided against itself, and therefore it 
will be made desolate ; it is a house built on sand, and there 
fore it cannot stand j it is a cloud without water, which is 
carried about by the winds j a tree of autumn, unfruitful, 
twice dead, by the want of faith and morality, and there 
fore it will be plucked up by the roots ; a raging wave of 
the sea, foaming out its own confusion j a wandering 
star, to which the storm and darkness are reserved for 
ever j a withered branch, cut off from the body of Christ, 
the One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, 
which alone is established by Christ on earth as his i pillar 
and ground of truth/ in one fold, watched over by his one 
chief shepherd, ever immovable amid the storms of hell ; 
with unshaken faith, amid the variations of philosophical 


systems, the infernal persecutions of the wicked, the revolu 
tions of empires, the attacks of interest, of prejudice, of 
passion, the dissolving labors of criticism, the progress of 
physical, historical, and other sciences, the unrestrained 
love of novelty, the abuses which sooner or later under 
mine the most firmly-established human institutions. The 
faith of this Church alone is divine, because she alone 
teaches with divine authority." 

This is clear to every unprejudiced and well-reflecting 
mind. Mr. T. W. M. Marshall relates the following, in 
one of his lectures : 

"A young English lady, with whom I became subse 
quently acquainted, and from whose lips I heard the tale, 
informed her parents that she felt constrained to embrace 
the Catholic faith. Hereupon arose much agitation in the 
parental councils, and a reluctant promise was extorted 
from the daughter that she would not communicate with 
any Catholic priest till she had first listened to the convinc 
ing arguments with which certain clerical friends of the 
family would easily dissipate her unreasonable doubts. 
These ministers were three in number^ and we will call 
them Messrs. A, B and C. The appointed day arrived 
for the solemn discussion, which one of the ministers was 
about to commence, when the young lady opened it 
abruptly with the following remark : f I am too young and 
uninstructed to dispute with gentlemen of your age and 
experience, but perhaps you will allow me to ask you a 
few questions V Anticipating an easy triumph over the 
poor girl, the three ministers acceded with encouraging 
smiles to her request. Then I will ask you/ she said 
to Mr. A, l whether regeneration always accompanies 
the sacrament of baptism V 6 Undoubtedly/ was the 


prompt reply 5 * that is the plain doctrine of our Church. 
6 And you, Mr. B/ she continued, l do you teach that 
doctrine T i Grod forbid, my young friend/ was his 
indignant answer, that I should teach such soul-destroy 
ing error ! Baptism is a formal rite, which/ etc., etc. 
6 And you, Mr. C/ she asked the third, l what is your 
opinion T ( I regret, he replied with a bland voice, for 
he began to suspect they were making a mess of it, * that 
my reverend friends should have expressed themselves a 
little incautiously. The true doctrine lies between these 
extremes and he was going to develop it, when the 
young lady, rising from her chair, said : i I thank you, 
gentlemen; you have taught me all that I expected to 
learn from you. You are all ministers of the same church, 
yet you each contradict the other, even upon a do ctrine 
which St. Paul calls one of the foundations of Christianity. 
You have only confirmed me in my resolution to enter a 
Church whose ministers all teach the same thing. And 
then they went out of the room, one by one, and probably 
continued their battle in the street. But the parents of 
the young lady turned her out of doors the next day, to 
get her bread as she could. They sometimes do that sort 
of thing in England. 

u Another friend of mine, also a lady, and one of the 
most intelligent of her sex, was for several years the dis 
ciple of the distinguished minister who has given a name 
to a certain religious school in England. Becoming dis 
affected toward the Episcopalian Church, which appeared 
to her more redolent of earth, in proportion as she aspired 
more ardently toward heaven, she was persuaded to 
assist at a certain Ritualistic festival, which it was hoped 
would have a soothing effect upon her mind. A new 

CREED. 249 

church was to be opened, and the ceremonies were to be 
prolonged through an entire week. All the Ritualistic 
celebrities of the day were expected to be present. Her 
lodging was judiciously provided in a house in which were 
five of the most transcendental members of the High 
Church party. It was hoped that they would speedily 
convince her of their apostolic unity, but, unfortunately, 
they only succeeded in proving to her that no two of them 
were of the same mind. One recommended her privately 
to pray to the Blessed Virgin, which another condemned 
as, at best, a poetical superstition. One told her that 
the pope was, by divine appointment, the head of the 
Universal Church ; another, that he was a usurper and 
a schismatic. One maintained that the Reformers J 
were profane scoundrels and apostates ; another, that 
they had at all events good intentions. But I need not 
trouble you with an account of their various creeds. 
Painfully affected by this diversity, where she had been 
taught to expect complete uniformity, her doubts were 
naturally confirmed. During the week she was invited 
to take a walk with the eminent person whom she had 
hitherto regared as a trustworthy teacher. To him she 
revealed her growing disquietude, and presumed to lament 
the conflict of opinions which she had lately witnessed, but 
only to be rewarded by a stern rebuke ; for it is a singular 
fact that men who are prepared at any moment to judge 
all the saints and doctors, will not tolerate any judgment 
which reflects upon themselves. It was midwinter, and 
the lady s companion, pointing to the leafless trees by the 
roadside, said, with appropriate solemnity of voice and 
manner : i They are stripped of their foliage now, but 
wait for the spring, and you will see them once more wake 


to life. So shall it be with the Church of England, which 
now seems to you dead. It may be so/ she replied j 
1 but what sort of a spring can we expect after a winter 
tvhich has lasted three hundred years T You will not be 
surprised to hear that this lady soon after became a 
member of a Church which knows nothing of winter, but 
within whose peaceful borders reigns eternal spring." 

And why do we see an eternal spring within the peaceful 
borders of the Catholic Church I The reason is contained 
in the answer to the question : 

13. Is the faith of the Roman Catholic divine or human ? 

The faith of the Roman Catholic is divine, for, to believe 
the Catholic Church is to believe God himself. 

The Roman Catholic Church is the heir to the rights of 
Jesus Christ. She is the faithful depositary of the spiritual 
treasures of Jesus Christ. She is the infallible teacher of 
the doctrines of Jesus Christ. She wields the authority 
of Jesus Christ. She lives by the life and spirit of Jesus 
Christ. She enjoys the guidance and help of Jesus 
Christ. She speaks, orders, commands, concedes, prohibits, 
defines, looses and binds, in the name of Jesus Christ. 
The Catholic believes in this divine authority of the 
Church, and therefore believes and obeys her ; and in 
believing and obeying her, he believes and obeys Almighty 
God himself, who said to the apostles and their lawful suc 
cessors in the Catholic Church : u He that heareth you 
heareth me, and he that despiseth you despiseth me." 
(Luke x, 16). His faith, therefore, is divine, because 
it is based on divine authority ; it gives peace to his soul, 
and contentment to his heart j it is for him, as it were, a 
perpetual spring of happiness and joy. 

CREED. 251 

14. Do Protestant sects teach divine faith on divine 

No / the faith of Protestants is based upon human author 
ity, becaiise their founders were not sent by God, nor did 
they receive any mission from his Church. 

The aim of Protestantism was to declare every man 
independent of the divine authority of the Catholic Church, 
and to substitute for this divine authority that of the 
Bible, as interpreted by himself. Protestants, therefore, 
hold that man is himself his own teacher and his own law 
giver | that it is each one s business to find out his own 
religion, that is to say, that every one must judge for himself 
what doctrines are most consistent with reason and the holy 
Scriptures; or that he must follow the teaching of the 
clergyman whose views best commend themselves to his 
judgment. He does not acknowledge that God has a 
right to teach him j or, if he acknowledges this right, he 
does not feel himself bound to believe all that God teaches 
him through those whom God appointed to teach mankind. 
He says to God : If thou teachest me, I reserve to my 
self the right to examine thy words, to explain them as I 
choose, and admit only what appears to me true, consistent, 
and useful. Hence, St. Augustine says : " You who believe 
what you please, and reject what you please, believe 
yourselves or your own fancy, rather than the Gospel." 
The faith of the Protestant, then, is based upon his pri 
vate judgment alone ; it is human. As his judgment is 
alterable, he naturally holds that his faith and doctrine is 
alterable at will, and is therefore continually changing it. 
Evidently, then, he does not hold it to be the truth j for 
truth never changes. Nor does he hold it to be the law of 
God, which he is bound to ob^y j for ; if the law of God 


be alterable at all, it can only be altered by God himself, 
never by man, any body of men, or any creature of God. 

But some Protestants, for instance, the Anglicans, think 
that they approach very near to the Catholic Church, 
They will tell you that their prayers and ceremonies are 
like many prayers and ceremonies of the Catholic Church, 
that their creed is the Apostles Creed. But, in principle, 
they are all equally far off. Thus they profess to believe 
in one Church, which has, unfortunately, become half a 
dozen ; in unity, which ceased to exist long ago, for want 
of a centre ; in authority, which nobody needs obey, 
because it has lost the power to teach j in God s presence 
with the Church, which does not keep her from stupid 
errors j in divine promises, which were only made to be 
broken ; in a divine constitution, which needs to be 
periodically reformed j in a mission to teach all nations, 
while she is unable to teach even herself; in saints, to 
whom Anglicans would be objects of horror and aversion ; 
and in the sanctity of truths which their own sect has 
always defiled, and which are profanely mocked at this 
hour by its bishops, clergy, and people, all around them. 
The world has had occasion to admire, in various ages, 
many curious products of human imbecility, but at no time, 
and among no people, has it seen anything which could be 
matched with this. Compared with Anglicanism and its 
myriad contradictions, the wildest phantom which ever 
mocked the credulity of distempered fanaticism was a 
form of truth and beauty, a model of exact reasoning and 
logical symmetry. 

Even an untutored Indian chief, by the aid of his rude 
common-sense, and the mere intuition of natural truth, does 
not fail to see the folly of Protestant belief, and confounds 


/ / / 

and ridicules it before those Protestant missionaries who 

come to convert his tribe to Protestantism. Elder 
Alexander Campbell, in a lecture before the American 
Christian Missionary Association, relates the following : 
" Sectarian missionaries had gone am6ng the Indians to 
disseminate religious sentiments. A council was called, 
and the missionaries explained the object of their visit. 
Is not all the religion of a white man in a book? quoth 
a chief. * Yes/ replied the missionaries. Do not all 
white men read the book ? J continued the chief. Another 
affirmative response. i Do they all agree upon what it 
says ? 7 inquired the chief, categorically. There was a 
dead silence for some moments. At last one of the mis 
sionaries replied : i Not exactly ; they differ upon some 
doctrinal points. i Go home, white man/ said the chief, 
1 call a council, and, when the white men all agree, then 
come teach the red men \ J J 

The absurdity of Protestantism being so easily perceived 
by the rude child of the forest, Protestantism has never 
been able to convert a heathen nation, although it has very 
human means in its power. It has a vast number of 
ministers, plenty of ships to carry these ministers to every 
country, boundless wealth, and great armies and navies to 
terrify the heathen, also its merchants scattered through 
every quarter of the globe ; with all this, Protestantism 
has not converted a nation, nor even a city or tribe, of 
heathens to Christianity, after three hundred years 7 exist 
ence. It has been ascertained that, during the last fifty 
years, Protestantism, in Europe and America, has collected 
and spent over one hundred and twenty-five millions of 
dollars, for the purpose of converting the heathens. One 
hundred millions of Bibles, Testaments, and tracts, have 


been printed in various languages, and scattered throughout 
the world for the same purpose. Five thousand mission 
aries, with large salaries, varying from a hundred to five 
hundred pounds each, and also an additional allowance for 
their wives and families, are kept annually employed in 
the work, and yet all to no purpose. No result whatever 
can be shown. 

During every month of May, the various sects of 
Protestants hold their anniversary meetings in London and 
New York. At these gatherings speeches are made and 
reports read, in which the people are told of the wonder 
ful conversions that are just going to take place ; of a 
great door opened for the Gospel j of fields white for the 
harvest j of bright anticipations j of missionaries who now 
enjoy the confidence of the natives j of Pagans stretching, 
or who are about to stretch, forth their hands to God 
immediately ; of printing-presses which are in constant 
operation ; of schools to be opened ; of sums spent in 
Bibles 5 of Bibles, Testaments, and tracts distributed. 
Every promise is made for the future, but nothing what 
ever is shown for the past. The meetings are ended, 
votes of thanks are given to the various chairmen, 
prayers said, subscriptions received, and the huge delusion 
lives on from year to year. 

Some of the missionaries give up the work in despair, 
others in disgust. Some run away from the first appear 
ance of danger j others fly from persecution, b^ing terrified 
at the very idea of martyrdom. One missionary comes 
back to his native country, because of the sudden death 
of his wife ; another, to bury his youngest daughter in 
Ler mother s grave j another leaves the field of his 
missionary labors, to console his dear mother on her 

CREED. 255 

death-bed ; another comes home to look after some small 
property left him by his father, who recently died j one 
comes home to preserve the life of a delicate child, who 
did not seem to thrive in the place where he was stationed j 
another left to attend to the education of his children, 
whom he could not feel in his heart to rear up amongst 
Pagans ; another comes home, because his wife has 
quarrelled with the wives of some of the cither mission 
aries 5 another, to be present at his eldest daughter s 
marriage. Ma ny Protestant missionaries give up the 
work of saVing souls for more lucrative pursuits, such as, 
good commercial or government situations, or to become 
merchants on their own account j whilst a few, possessed 
of sufficient ability, have become newspaper correspdnd- 
ents ; and more than one, instead of converting the 
Pagans, have themselves become converts to the Jewish 
and Mahometan religions, having got rich wives of these 

Protestant travellers and writers who have visited the 
fields of Protestant missionary l^bor, have themselves 
fiirnished the world with these details. They tell of a few 
converts here and there, who relapse into paganism when 
ever the missionaries withdraw. They tell us that the 
missionaries become tyrants, and persecute the people 
when they get the chance ; that they drive the natives into 
the Protestant meeting-houses by force, and make them 
more brtital, profligate, crafty, treacherous, impure, and 
disgusting, than they were before. One writer states how 
he found, in the Sandwich Islands, that the Protestant 
missionaries had civilized the people into draught-horses, 
and evangelized them into beasts of burden ; that they 
were literally broken into the traces ; and harnessed to the 


vehicles of their spiritual instructors, like so many beasts 
of burden. The poor natives are compelled to draw their 
pastors, as well as their wives and daughters, to church, 
to market, or for pleasure, and are whipped like horses. 
The same writer says, the missionaries destroy heathenism, 
and the heathens also j that they extirpate Paganism and 
the people at the same time j that the natives are robbed 
of their land, in the name of religion, and that disease, 
vice, and premature death, make their appearance together 
with Protestantism. The missionaries are dwelling in 
picturesque and prettily furnished coral-rock villas, while 
the miserable natives are committing all sorts of crime and 
immorality around them. The depopulated land is recruited 
from the rapacious hordes of enlightened individuals who 
settle within its borders, and clamorously announce the pro 
gress of the truth. Neat villas, trim gardens, shaven lawns, 
spires, and cupolas arise, while the poor savage soon finds 
himself an interloper in the country of his fathers, arid 
that, too, on the very site of the hut where he was born. 

When will Protestants learn wisdom from the rude child 
of the forest ? When will they see the absurdity of their 
teaching? It is strange how men will put their reason 
in their pocket, and prefer darkness to light, error to truth, 
folly to wisdom. 

That man might know what to believe, Christ, who 
alone could tell him, founded the Roman Catholic Church, 
to be^ forever " the pillar and ground of truth." Whoever 
declines to follow this guide, must live without any sure 
guide. There is. no other, because God has given no 
other. Hence Pius IX spoke lately of Protestantism, in all 
its forms, as " revolt against God," it being an attempt 
to substitute a human for a divine authority, and a 


declaration of the creature s independence of the Creator 
The creed of the apostate has only one article. If God, 
it proclaims, chose to found a church without consulting 
man, it is quite open to man to abolish the church with 
out consulting God. 

A body which has lost the principle of its animation 
becomes dust. Hence it is an axiom that the change or 
perversion of the principles by which anything was pro 
duced, is the destruction of that very thing : if you can 
change or pervert the principles from which anything 
springs, you destroy it. For instance, one single foreign 
element introduced into the blood produces death j one 
false assumption admitted into science destroys its cer 
tainty ; one false principle admitted into faith and morals 
is fatal. The Reformers started wrong. They would 
reform the Church, by placing her under human control. 
Their successors have, in each generation, found they did 
not go far enough, and have, each in turn, struggled to 
push it further and further, till they find themselves 
withdut any church life, without faith, without religion, 
and beginning to doubt if there be even a God. 

It is a well-known fact that, before the Reformation, 
infidels were scarcely known in the Christian world. 
Since that event they have come forth in swarms. It is 
from the writings of Herbert, Hobbes, Bloum, Shaftes- 
bury, Bolingbroke, and Boyle, that Voltaire and his party 
drew the objections and errors which they have brought 
so generally into fashion in the world. According to 
Diderot and d Alembert, the first step that the untract- 
able Catholic takes is to adopt the Protestant principle of 
private judgment. He establishes himself judge of his 
religion leaves and joins the reform. Dissatisfied with 


the incoherent doctrines he there discovers, he passe? 
over to the Socinians, whose inconsequences soon drive 
him into Deism. Still pursued by unexpected difficulties, 
he finds refuge in universal doubt ; but still haunted by 
uneasiness, he at length resolves to take the last step, and 
proceeds to terminate the long chain of his errors in 
infidelity. Let us not forget that the first link of ^this 
chain is attached to the fundamental maxim of private 
judgment. They judged of religion as they did of their 
breakfast and dinner. A religion was good or bad, true 
or false, just as it suited their tastes, their likings ; their 
religious devotion varied like the weather j they must feel 
it as they felt the heat and cold. 

New fashions of belief sprang up, and changed, and 
disappeared, as rapidly as the new fashions of dress. 
Men judged not only of every revealed doctrine, but they 
also judged of the Bible itself. Protestantism, having 
no authority, could not check this headlong tendency to 
unbelief. Its ministers dare no longer preach or teach 
any doctrine which is displeasing to the people. Every 
Protestant preacher who wishes to be heard, and to retain 
his salary, must first feel the pulse of his hearers ; he must 
make himself the slave of their opinions and likings. 

It is, therefore, historically correct that the same prin 
ciple that created Protestantism three centuries ago has 
never ceased, since that time, to spin it out into a thousand 
different sects, and has concluded by covering Europe and 
America with that multitude of free-thinkers and infidels 
who place these countries on the verge of ruin. 

What is the spiritual life of Protestants ? They seem 
to have lost all spiritual conceptions, and no longer to 
possess any spiritual aspiration. Lacking, as they do, the 


light, the warmth, arid the life-giving power of the sun 
of the Catholic Church, they seem to have become, or to 
be near becoming, what our world would be if there were 
no sun in the heavens. 

For this reason it is that Protestants are so completely 
absorbed in temporal interests, in the things that fall under 
their senses, that their whole life is only materialism put 
in action. Lucre is the sole object on which their eyes 
are constantly fixed. A burning thirst to realize some 
profit, great or small, absorbs all their faculties, the whole 
energy of their being. They never pursue anything with 
ardor but riches and enjoyments. God, the soul, a future 
life, they believe in none of them ; or rather, they never 
think about them at all. If they ever take up a moral or 
a religious book, or go to a meeting-house, it is only by 
way of amusement to pass the time away. It is a less 
serious occupation than smoking a pipe, or drinking a cup 
of tea. If you speak to them about the foundations of 
faith, of the principles of Christianity, of the importance 
of salvation, the certainty of a life beyond the grave, all 
these truths which so powerfully impress a mind suscepti 
ble of religious feeling, they listen with a certain pleasure ; 
for it amuses them, and piques their curiosity. In their 
opinion all this is " true, fine, grand." They deplore the 
blindness of men who attach themselves to the perish 
able goods of this world ; perhaps they will even give 
utterance to some fine sentences on the happiness of 
knowing the true God, of serving him, and of meriting by 
this means the reward of eternal life. They simply never 
think of religion at all, they like very well to talk about 
it, but it is as of a thing not made for them, a thing with 
which ; personally, they have nothing to do. This indif- 


ference they carry so far, religious sensibility is so enti/ely 
withered or dead within them, that they care not a straw 
whether a doctrine is true or false, good or bad. Religion 
is to them simply a fashion, which those may follow who 
have a taste for it. " By and by, all in good time," they 
say ; " one should never be precipitate ; it is not good to be 
too enthusiastic. No doubt the Catholic religion is beau 
tiful and sublime ; its doctrine explains, with method and 
clearness, all that is necessary for man to know. Whoever 
has any sense will see that, and will adopt it in his heart 
in all sincerity ; but after all, one must not think too much 
of these things, and increase the cares of life. Now, just 
consider we have a body : how many cares it demands ! 
It must be clothed, fed, and sheltered from the injuries of 
the weather ; its infirmities are great, and its maladies are 
numerous, It is agreed on all hands that health is our most 
precious good. This body that we see, that we touch, 
must be taken qare of every day, and every moment of the 
day. Is not this enough, without troubling ourselves about 
a soul that we never see ? The life of man is short arid 
full of misery j it is made up of a succession of important 
concerns, that follow one another without interruption. 
Our hearts and our minds are scarcely sufficient for the 
solicitudes of the present life : is it wise, then, to torment 
one s self about the future ? Is it not far better to live in 
blessed ignorance ? " 

Ask them, what would you think of a traveller who, on 
finding himself at a dilapidated inn, open to all the winds, 
and deficient in the necessaries of life, should spend 
all his time in trying how he could make himself most com 
fortable in it, without ever thinking of preparing himself 
for his departure, and his return into the bosom of hid 


family ? Would this traveller be acting in a wise and 
reasonable manner ? " No," they will reply ; " one must 
not travel in that way. But man, nevertheless, must confine 
himself within proper limits. How can he provide for two 
lives at the same time 1 I take care of this life, and the 
care of the other I leave to God. If a traveller ought not 
regularly to take up his abode at an inn, neither ought he 
to travel on two roads at the same time. When one wishes 
to cross a river, it will not do to have two boats, and set a 
foot in each : such a proceeding would involve the risk of 
a tumble into the water, and drowning one s self. 77 Such is 
the deep abyss of religious indifferentism into which so 
many Protestants of our day have fallen, and from which 
they naturally fall into one deeper still : infidelity. 

15. Will such human faith save them ? 

No , for St. Paul says : u It is impossible to please God 
without faith." (Heb. xi, 6.) 

To be saved, we must do the will of God : " Not every 
one that saith to me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the 
kingdom of heaven ; but he that doth the will of my 
Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom 
of heaven." (Matt, vii, 21.) The will of God the Father 
is that men hear and believe his Son, Jesus Christ : 
" This is my well-beloved Son. Him you shall hear." 
Now, Jesus Christ said to his apostles and their lawful 
successors : a He that heareth you heareth me, and he that 
despiseth you despiseth me 5 and he that despiseth me 
despiseth him that sent me," the heavenly Father. Now, 
Protestants despise God the Father, because they do not 
listen to his Son speaking to them through Peter and the 
apostles, in their lawful successors. Turning, as they do, 
tlieir back upon them most contemptuously, they follow 


their own will in all religious matters. Assuredly no 
Protestant would engage and pay a servant who would 
tell him, " I will serve you according to my will, not 
according to yours." How, then, could God the Failier 
admit one into his kingdom who has always refused to do 
his will, who, instead of learning the will of God, the 
full doctrine of Christ, through the Catholic Church, was 
himself his own teacher, his own lawgiver, his own judge, 
in religious matters? Every one who is not a Catholic 
should remember that there never was a time, from the 
beginning of the world, when God left men free to fashion 
their own religion, to invent their own creed and their 
own form of worship. Christ never designed that the 
sacred truths of his religion should be submitted to the 
people by the apostles and their successors for discussion, 
for criticism, and for private interpretation, with liberty 
to alter and amend, or reject them, as ignorance, prejudice, 
or caprice might dictate. He never submitted his 
doctrines to the opinions or criticisms of the Scribes, 
Pharisees, or Sadducees of Jerusalem, or the learned 
Pagan philosophers j he never sanctioned what is termed, 
in modern times, " freedom of conscience " and " private 
interpretation;" on the contrary, from the beginning of 
the world, God established on earth a visible teaching 
authority, to which it was the bounden duty of every 
man to submit, if he would be saved. If one, then, who 
is not a Catholic, seriously considers the question, " Is it 
God that speaks through the Catholic Church f he fulfils 
a most sacred duty, and acts according to reason. Far 
from offending God, he honors him by using his reason to 
distinguish the voice of God from that of man the 
supreme, divine authority from mere human authority. 


But as soon as he is convinced that the authority of the 
Church is from God, he is bound to believe most firmly 
all that he is told on this authority. Common-sense tells 
him that, when he hears God speak, he hears nothing but 
truth ; no matter whether or not he understands it, he is 
obliged to say, Amen, it is so. " Without such faith" 
says St. Paul, " it is impossible to please God." 

Take the case of one who is not a Catholic, but who 
has studied all the doctrines of the Church. He makes 
up his mind that all that the Church teaches is reason 
able and consistent with holy Scripture, and so he believes, 
and becomes a Catholic. Is his faith divine ? Does he 
become a Catholic in the right way ? No ; his faith is 
based, as yet, on individual reason alone. 

There is another. He considers the antiquity of the 
Roman Catholic Church j her unity in faith j the purity and 
holiness of her doctrine ; her establishment by poor fisher 
men all over the world, in spite of all kinds of opposition ; 
her invariable duration from the time of the apostles j the 
miracles which are wrought in her ; the holiness of all those 
who live according to her laws 5 the deep science of her 
doctors 5 the almost infinite number of her martyrs 5 the 
peace of mind and happiness of soul experienced by those 
who have entered her bosom ; the fact that all Protestants 
admit that a faithful Catholic will be saved in his religion 5 
the frightful punishment inflicted by God upon all the 
persecutors of the Catholic Church ; the melancholy death 
of the authors of heresies ; the constant fulfilment of the 
words of our Lord, that his Church would always be 
persecuted. He seriously considers all this ; he is enlight 
ened by God s grace to see that the Roman Catholic 
Church alone is the true Church of Jesus Christ; he is 


convinced that her authority is from God, and that to hear 
and obey her authority is to hear and obey God himself: 
and so he accepts and believes all that she teaches, because 
it comes to him on the authority of God, and therefore must 
be true ; not because he himself sees liow or why it is true. 
This is true divine faith this is the right way to become 
a Catholic. Such faith is absolutely necessary. It is 
necessary by necessity of precept. Our blessed Lord 
says : " He that belie veth and is baptized shall be saved. 
He that believeth not shall be condemned." This pre 
cept is affirmative ; in as far as it obliges us to believe all 
that God has revealed ; it is negative, in as far as it for 
bids us to hold any opinions contrary to the revealed truth. 
Such faith is necessary by necessity of medium, for, 
" without faith, it is impossible to please God," (Heb. xi, 
6.) "If you believe not, you shall die in your sins." 
(John v, 38 ; viii, 27.) 

16. Must, then, all who wish to be saved die united to 
the Catholic Church ? 

Yes ; for out of the Catholic Church there is no salvation : 
1, because she alone teaches the true faith ; 2, because in 
her alone are found the means of grace and salvation. 

Our divine Saviour says : " No one can come to the 
Father except through me." If we then wish to enter 
heaven, we must be united to Christ, to his body, which 
is the Church, as St. Paul says. We must then be united 
to his Church. Therefore out of that Church there is no 

Again, Jesus Christ says : Whoever will not hear the 
Church, look upon him as a heathen and a great sinner. 
Therefore, out of the Church there is no salvation. 

Holy Scripture says ( Acts ii, 47) : " The Lord added 

* See Predestination Vol. on Grace and Sacraments, p. 117. 



daily to the Church such as should be saved." Therefore 
the apostles believed, and the holy Scriptures teach, that 
there is no salvation out of the Church. 

Hence the Fathers of the Church never hesitated to 
pronounce all those forever lost who die out of the 
Roman Catholic Church : " He who has not the Church 
for his mother," says St. Cyprian, " cannot have God 
for his Father j" and with him the Fathers in general say 
that, "as all who were not in the ark of Noe perished in 
the waters of the Deluge, so shall all perish who are out 
of the true Church." St. Augustine and the other bishops 
of Africa, at the Council of Zirta, A. D. 412, say : " Who 
soever is separated from the Catholic Church, however 
commendable in his own opinion his life may be, he 
shall, for the very reason that he is separated from the 
union of Christ, not see life, but the wrath of God abideth 
on him." Therefore, says St. Augustine, u a Christian 
ought to fear nothing so much as to be separated from 
the body of Christ (the Church). For, if he be separated 
from the body of Christ, he is not a member of Christ j 
if not a member of Christ, he is not quickened by his 
Spirit." (Tract, xxvii, in Joan., n. 6, col. 1992, torn, iii.) 

u ln our times," says Pius IX, " many of the enemies of 
the Catholic faith direct their efforts toward placing every 
monstrous opinion on the same level with the doctrine of 
Christ, or confounding it therewith ; and so they try more 
and more to propagate that impious system of the indiffer 
ence of religions. But quite of late, we shudder to say it, 
certain men have not hesitated to slander us by saying 
that we share in their folly, favor that most wicked sys 
tem, and think so benevolently of every class of mankind 
as to suppose that not only the sons of the Church, but 


that the rest also, however alienated from Catholic unity 
they may remain, are alike in the way of salvation, and 
may arrive at everlasting life. We are at a loss, from 
horror, to find words to express our detestation of this new 
and atrocious injustice that is done us. We love, indeed, 
all mankind with the inmost affection of our hearts, yet 
not otherwise than in the love of God and our Lord Jesus 
Christ, who came to seek and to save that which had 
perished, who died for all, who wills all men to be saved, 
and to come to the knowledge of the truth ; who, there 
fore, sent his disciples into the whole world to preach the 
Gospel to every creature, proclaiming that those who 
should believe and be baptized should be saved, but that 
those who should not believe should be condemned. Let 
those, therefore, who wish to be saved, come to the pillar 
and the ground of faith, which is the Church 5 let them 
come to the true Church of Christ, which, in her bishops 
and in the Roman Pontiff, the chief head of all, has the 
succession of apostolical authority which has never been 
interrupted, which has never counted anything of greater 
importance than to preach, and by all means to keep and 
defend the doctrine proclaimed by the apostles at Christ s 
command. This apostolical authority of the Church has, 
from the apostles time, ever increased in the midst of 
difficulties of every kind ; it has become illustrious through 
out the whole world, by the splendor of miracles and by 
the blood of martyrs ; it has been exalted by the virtues 
of confessors and virgins j it has been strengthened by the 
most wise testimonies and writings of the Fathers j it has 
flourished, and does flourish, in all the regions of the earth, 
and shines refulgent in the perfect unity of faith, of sacra 
ments, and of holy discipline. We who, though unworthy, 


hold this supreme See of the Apostle Peter, wherein 
Christ has laid the foundation of the same Church of his, 
shall never at any time abstain from any cares or labors 
that, by the grace of Christ himself, we may bring those 
who are ignorant, and who are going astray, to this only 
road of truth and salvation. But let all those who oppose 
themselves, remember that heaven and earth shall indeed 
pass away, but that nothing can ever pass away of the words 
of Christ, nor change be made in the doctrine which the 
Catholic Church has received from Christ, to be kept, 
defended, and preached. 7 (Allocution to the Cardinals, 
held on the 17th Dec., 1847.) 

17. Who are not members of the Roman Catholic Church ? 

All unbaptized persons^ unbelieverSj apostates , heretics, 
and all excommunicated persons. 

But how do we know that unbaptized persons are not 
saved 1 We know it, because Jesus Christ has said : " Un 
less a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he 
cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John iii, 5.) 

Heaven is the union of Almighty God with the elect, 
those who are quite pure, without the least stain of 
sin. But God, who is holiness itself, cannot unite himself 
to a soul that is in sin. Now, as those who die without 
baptism remain forever stained with original sin, they can 
never be united to Almighty God in heaven. 

And why are unbelievers and apostates lost ? Unbe 
lievers and apostates are lost, because it is said that, 
" without faith, it is impossible to please God." In our 
day and country, it is become fashionable for a large 
number of men to have no religion, and even to boast of 
having none. To have no religion is a great crime ; but 
to boast of having none is the height of folly. 


The man without religion is a slave to the most degrad 
ing superstition. Instead of worshipping the true, free, 
living God, who governs all things by his providence, he 
bows before the horrid phantom of blind chance or inexor 
able destiny. He is a man who obstinately refuses to believe 
the most solidly established facts in favor of religion, and 
yet, with blind credulity, greedily swallows the most absurd 
falsehoods uttered against religion. He is a man whose 
reason has fled, and whose passions speak, object, and decide 
in the name of reason. He is sunk in the grossest 
ignorance regarding religion. He blasphemes what he does 
not understand. He rails at the doctrines of the Church, 
without knowing really what her doctrines are. He sneers 
at the doctrines and practices of religion, because he can 
not refute them. He speaks with the utmost gravity of 
the fine arts, the fashions, and matters the most trivial, while 
he turns the most sacred subjects into ridicule. In the 
midst of his own circle of fops and silly women, he utters 
his shallow conceits with all the pompous assurance of a 

But why is it that he makes his impious doctrines 
the subject of conversation on every occasion I It is, 
of course, first to communicate his devilish principles to 
others, and make them as bad as he himself is ; but this 
is not the only reason. The good Catholic seldom speaks 
of his religion ; he feels assured, by the grace of God, 
that his religion is the only true one, and that he will be 
saved if he lives up to it. Such is not the case with the 
infidel ; he is constantly tormented in his soul : " There is 
no peace, no happiness for the impious," says the holy 
Scripture. He tries to quiet the fears of his soul, the re 
morse of his conscience j so he communicates to others, 


on every occasion, his perverse principles, hoping to meet 
with some of his fellow-men who may approve of his 
impious views, that he thus may find some relief for his 
interior torments. He resembles a timid man, who is 
obliged to travel during a dark night, and who begins to 
sing and cry out, in order to keep away fear. The infidel 
is a sort of night-traveller ; he travels in the horrible 
darkness of his impiety. His interior conviction tells him 
that there is a God who will certainly punish him in the 
most awful manner. This fills him with great fear, and 
makes him extremely unhappy every moment of his life ; he 
cannot bear the sight of a Catholic church, of a Catholic 
procession, of an image of our Lord, of a picture of a 
saint, of a prayer-book, of a good Catholic, of a priest j 
in a word, he cannot bear anything that reminds him of 
God, of religion, of his own guilt and impiety : so, on 
every occasion, he cries out against faith in God, in all 
that God has revealed and proposes to us for our belief 
by the holy Catholic Church. What is the object of his 
impious cries ? It is to deafen, to keep down, in some 
measure, the clamors of his conscience. Our hand will 
involuntarily touch that part of the body where we feel 
pain ; in like manner, the tongue of the infidel touches, 
on all occasions, involuntarily as it were, upon all those 
truths of our holy religion which inspire him with fear of 
the judgments of Almighty God. He feels but too keenly 
that he cannot do away with God and his sacred religion, 
by denying his existence. 

The days of the infidel are counted. What a fearful 
thing it is for him to fall into the hands of God in the 
hour of death ! He knows this truth, and because he 
knows it, he dies in the fury of despair, and, as it were, 


in the anticipated torments of the suffering that awaits him 
in hell. Witness Voltaire, the famous infidel of France ! 
He wished to make his confession at his last hour. But 
the priest of St. Sulpice was not able to go to his, bedside, 
because the chamber-door was shut upon him. So Voltaire 
died without confession. He died in such a terrible 
paroxysm of fury and rage, that the marshal of Richelieu, 
who was present at his horrible agony, exclaimed: "Really, 
this sight is sickening ; it is insupportable !" M. Tronchin, 
Voltaire s physician, says : " Figure to yourself the rage 
and fury of Orestes, and you ll still have but a feeble 
image of the fury of Voltaire in his last agony. It would 
be well if all the infidels of Paris were present. Oh ! the 
fine spectacle that would have met their eyes !" Thus is 
fulfilled in infidels what God says in holy Scripture : " I 
will laugh at the destruction of those who laughed at me 
during their life." 

Witness Tom Paine ! A short time before he died he 
sent for the Rev. Father Fenwick. Father Fenwick 
went, in company of Father Kohlman, to see the infidel 
in his wretched condition. When they arrived at Paine s 
house, at Greenwich, his housekeeper came to the door 
and inquired whether they were the Catholic priests : 
" For," said she, " Mr. Paine has been so annoyed of late 
by ministers of different other denominations calling up6n 
him, that he has left express orders with me to admit 
no one to-day but clergymen of the Catholic Church." 
Upon assuring her that they were Catholic clergymen, she 
opened the door, and invited them to sit down in the parlor. 
"Gentlemen," said she, "I really wish you may succeed 
with Mr. Paine ; for he is laboring under great distress of 
mind ever since he was informed by his physicians that 

CREED. 271 

he cannot possibly live, and must die shortly. He sent 
for you to-day, because he was told that if any one could 
do him good, you might. He is truly to be pitied. His 
cries, when he is left alone, are truly heart-rending. O 
Lord ! help me ! he will exclaim during his paroxysms of 
distress. God, help, Jesus Christ, help me ! repeating 
the same expressions without any the least variation, in 
a tone of voice that would alarm the house. Sometimes 
he will say, t God ! what have I done to suffer so much ? 
Then shortly after : i If there is a God, what will become 
of me V Thus he will continue for some time, when on 
a sudden he will scream as if in terror and agony, and call 
out for me by name. On one of these occasions, which 
are very frequent, I went to him and inquired what he 
wanted. i Stay with me, he replied, i for God s sake ; 
for I cannot bear to be left alone. 7 I then observed that 
I could not always be with him, as I had much to attend 
to in the house. Then, said he, * send even a child to 
stay with me ; for it is a hell to be alone. I never saw," 
she concluded, " a more unhappy, a more forsaken man. 
It seems he cannot reconcile himself to die." 

The fathers did all in their power to make Paine enter 
into himself, and ask God s pardon. But all their endeav 
ors were in vain. He ordered them out of his room, in 
the highest pitch of his voice, and seemed a very maniac 
with rage and madness. "Let us go," said Father 
Fenwick to Father Kohlman. " We have nothing more 
to do here. He seems to be entirely abandoned by God. 
Further words are lost upon him. I never before or since 
beheld a more hardened wretch." (" Lives of the Catholic 
Bishops of America," p. 379, etc.) 

To the infidel and evil-doer these examples present 


matter worthy of serious reflection, while the believer 
will recognize in them the special judgment of God, which 
is too clearly indicated to be doubted by any honest mind. 
Let the unbeliever remember that the hour wi}l come 
when he shall open his eyes to see the wisdom of those 
who have believed j when he also shall see, to his con 
fusion, his own madness in refusing to believe. u Oh ! 
that he would be wise, and would understand that there 
is none that can deliver out of the hand of the Lord ! 7? 
(Deut. xxxii, 39.) 

18, Why are those persons lost who have been justly 
excommunicated, and who are unwilling to do what is 
required of them before they are absolved ? 

Because the sin of great scandal, for which they, as dead 
members, were expelled from the communion of the Church, 
excludes them from the kingdom of heaven. 

Such excommunicated persons are, for instance, all mem 
bers of secret societies. The aim of secret societies is 
to abolish the Christian religion and the Church of Christ j 
nay, to banish the law of God, and the very idea of 
his overruling providence j to overturn every legitimate 
secular authority ; to destroy the present basis of society, 
and to construct a new one, wherein all may be free to 
follow their passions. The members of these societies have 
been excommunicated by several popes : by Clement IX, 
Benedict XIV, Leo XII, and Pius IX. 

Our Lord gave to his Church the power of separating 
men from the "onefold," and making them * heathens 
and publicans. The purpose and effect of excommuni 
cation are to cut culprits off from the body of Christ ; to 
cast them out of his Church, as unworthy of the Christian 
name, and as deprived of rights which were acquired 

CREED. 273 

by baptism. The excommunicated, then, are shut out 
from those avenues of grace which have been provided in 
the Church ; they cannot receive the sacraments j the 
holy sacrifice of the Mass is not daily offered for them j 
and if death surprises them while they still obstinately defy 
the Church, the separation from the Church, which they 
have wilfully chosen to maintain on earth, will be main 
tained also in the other world they will remain separated 
forever from the communion of the saints in heaven." 
(See Part I, Secret Societies, 15.) 

Why are heretics lost ? Heretics, that is to say, baptized 
persons who choose such doctrines of the Roman Catholic 
Church as please them, and reject the rest, are lost 
for the reason given by St. Paul the Apostle, who says: 
"A man that is a heretic, after the first and second 
admonition, avoid j knowing that he who is such an one 
is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own 
judgment." (Tit. iii, 10, 11.) 

The word of God, in the first commandment, is : "I am 
the Lord thy God." By this commandment all men are 
obliged to believe in God as the Infinite Being, who is 
essentially good and just, the sovereign Author and Lord of 
all things, who has an absolute authority over all, an 
authority which he can exercise either directly by himself, 
or through an angel, a prophet, or one or more of his 
reasonable creatures. God, therefore, has a right to com 
mand the human understanding to admit certain truths, 
the human will to perform certain duties, the senses to 
make certain sacrifices. Nothing can be more reasonable 
than to submit to such a command of God. This submis 
sion is called faith, which, as St. Paul says, " bringeth 
into captivity every understanding to the obedience of 


Christ." ( 2 Cor. x, 5.) As soon, then, as man hears the 
voice of his Maker, he is bound to say, "Amen : it is so." 
I believe it, no matter whether I understand it or not. 

But Protestants have no regard for God when be says, 
" I am the Lord thy God. I have a right to tell you 
what you must believe and do, in order to be saved, and 
you are bound to submit to my will, and practise the relig 
ion which I have established." The Protestant answers : 
"Of course, I believe that thou art the Lord of heaven and 
earth, but I believe only what I choose to believe j " thus 
defying the Almighty to prescribe a religion for him. 
Protestants, therefore, live constantly in violation of the 
first commandment. 

They also transgress the second commandment of God, 
which says : " Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord 
thy God in vain." By this commandment God forbids all 
men to blaspheme him or any of his saints, or to ridicule 
religion. Yet what is more common among Protestants 
than to blaspheme Jesus Christ in his Mother and other 
saints ; what more common than to ridicule the religion of 
Christ and its holy practices ? Are not Protestant books, 
sermons, tracts, and conversations, filled with abusive lan 
guage, invectives, mockeries against Christ, his religion 
and his saints ? 

Protestants also transgress the third commandment of 
God, which says : " Remember thou keep holy the Sab 
bath day." By this commandment God commands all 
men to worship him in the manner which he has prescribed. 
From the beginning of the world, God wished to be wor 
shipped by the offering of sacrifices ; but Protestants have 
done away with the worship of the sacrifice of the Mass, 
which Christ commanded to be offered up by his priests 


and all Christians. They refuse to give God the honor of 
adoration ; that is, to honor him as the sovereign Lord of all 
creatures, and to acknowledge their entire dependence on 
him, by offering the sacrifice of the. body and blood of his 
divine Son, Jesus Christ, in holy Mass. Instead of thus 
honoring and worshipping him, they blaspheme Christ by 
calling this holy sacrifice a superstitious ceremony or 
abominable idolatry, whilst their own worship is a false 
worship, which is an abomination in the sight of God. 

Protestants transgress the fourth commandment, by refus 
ing obedience to the lawful ecclesiastical superiors. They 
transgress the fifth commandment, by refusing to make use 
of the means of grace, the sacraments, to obtain God s 
grace, and preserve themselves in his holy friendship. 
They transgress the sixth and the ninth commandment, 
which forbid adultery, and even the desire to commit it. 
Jesus Christ says : " I say to you, that whosoever shall 
put away his wife, and shall marry another, committeth 
adultery j and he that shall marry her that is put away, 
committeth adultery." (Matt, xix, 9.) " No," says Protes 
tantism to a married man, "you may put away your wife, 
get a divorce, and marry another." 

God says to every man : u Thou shalt not steal." 
li No," said Luther to secular princes, " I give you the 
right to appropriate to yourselves the property of the 
Roman Catholic Church." And the princes, from that day 
to this, have been only too happy to profit by this pleasing 

Jesus Christ says : " Hear the Church." "No," says 
Protestantism, " do not hear the Church j protest against 
her with all your might." Jesus Christ says : " If any 
one will not hear the Church ; look upon him as a heathen 


and publican." "No," says Protestantism, "if any one 
does not hear the Church, look upon him as an apostle, 
as an ambassador of God." Jesus Christ says : " The 
gates of hell shall not prevail against my Church." 
"No," says Protestantism, " tis false; the gates of hell 
have prevailed against the Church for a thousand years 
and more." Jesus Christ has declared St. Peter, and 
every successor to St. Peter, the pope, to be his Vicar 
on earth. " No," says Protestantism, " the pope is Anti 
christ." Jesus Christ says: "My yoke is sweet, and 
my burden is light." (Matt, xi, 30.) " No," said Luther 
and Calvin, " it is impossible to keep the command 
ments." Jesus Christ says : " If thou wilt enter into 
life, keep the commandments." (Matt, xix, 17.) "No," 
said Luther and Calvin, "faith alone, without good works, 
is sufficient to enter into life everlasting." Jesus Christ 
says: "Unless you do penance, you shall all likewise 
perish." (Luke iii, 3.) " No," says Protestantism, " fast 
ing and other works of penance are not necessary, in 
satisfaction for sin." Jesus Christ says : " This is my 
body." " No," said Calvin, " this is only the figure of 
Christ s body j it will become his body as soon as you 
receive it." 

The Holy Ghost says in holy Scripture : " Man knoweth 
not whether he be worthy of love or hatred." (Eccl. ix, I.) 
" Who can say, My heart is clean, I am pure from sin ?" 
(Prov. xx, 9) ; and, " Work out your salvation with fear 
and trembling." (Phil, ii, 12.) "No," said Luther and 
Calvin, " but whosoever believes in Jesus Christ is in the 
state of grace." 

St. Paul says : " If I should have faith, so that I could 
remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." 


(1 Cor. xiii, 2.) "No," said Luther and Calvin, "faith 
alone is sufficient to save us." 

St. Peter says that in the Epistles of St. Paul there are 
many things " hard to be understood, which the unlearned 
and unstable wrest, as also the other Scriptures, to their 
own perdition." (2Epist. iii, 16.) "No," says Protestantism, 
" the Scriptures are very plain, and easy to be understood." 

St. James says : "Is any man sick among you ? Let 
him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray 
over him, anointing him with oil, in the name of the 
Lord." (Chap, v, 14.) "No," says Protestantism, "this 
is a vain and useless ceremony." 

Protestants being thus impious enough to make liars of 
Jesus Christ, of the Holy Ghost, and of the apostles, need 
we wonder if they continually slander Catholics, telling and 
believing worse absurdities about them than the heathens 
did ? What is more absurd than to preach that Catholics 
worship stocks and stones for gods j set up pictures of Jesus 
Christ, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and other saints, to pray 
to them, and put their confidence in them ; that they adore 
a god of bread and wine ; that their sins are forgiven by the 
priest, without repentance and amendment of life j that the 
pope or any other person can give leave to commit sin, or 
that for a sum of money the forgiveness of sins can be 
obtained ? To these and similar absurdities and slanders, 
we simply answer : " Cursed is he who believes in such 
absurdities and falsehoods, with which Protestants im 
piously charge the children of the Catholic Church. All 
those grievous transgressions are another source of their 

But there are other reasons still, why Protestants cannot 
be saved. Jesus Christ says : " Except you eat the flesh 


of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have 
life in you." (John vi, 54.) Now, Protestants do not 
receive the body and blood of our Lord, because their 
ministers are not priests, and consequently have no power 
from Jesus Christ to say Mass, in which, by the words of 
consecration, bread and wine are changed into the body 
and blood of Christ. It follows, then, clearly that they will 
not enter into life everlasting, and deservedly so, because 
they abolished the holy sacrifice of the Mass ; and by abolish 
ing that great sacrifice they robbed God the Father of the 
infinite honor which Jesus Christ renders him therein, and 
themselves of all the blessings which Jesus Christ bestows 
upon those who assist at this holy sacrifice with faith and 
devotion : " Wherefore the sin of the young men (the sons 
of Heli) was exceeding great before the Lord, because 
they withdrew men from the sacrifice of the Lord." 
(1 Kings ii, 17.) Now, God the Father cannot admit into 
heaven these robbers of his infinite honor ; because, if those 
are damned who steal the temporal goods of their neighbor, 
how much more will those be damned who deprive God 
of his infinite honor, and their fellow-men of the infinite 
spiritual blessings of the Mass ! 

Again, no man is saved who dies in the state of mortal 
sin, because God cannot unite himself to a soul in heaven 
who by mortal sin is his enemy. But Protestants are 
enemies of God, committing, as they do, Other mortal sins 
besides those already mentioned ; for, if it is a mortal sin for 
a Roman Catholic wilfully to doubt only one article of his 
faith, it is also, most assuredly, a mortal sin for Protestants 
wilfully to deny not only one truth, but almost all the 
truths revealed by Jesus Christ. On account of the sins 
of apostasy, blasphemy, slander, etc., they remain enemies 

CREED. 279 

of God, as long as they do not repent, and receive absolu 
tion of these sins. Jesus Christ assures us that those sins 
which are not forgiven by the absolution of his apostles 
or their successors, will not be forgiven : u Whose sins 
you retain, they are retained. 7 (John xx, 22, 23.) But 
Protestants are unwilling to confess their sins to a Cath 
olic bishop or a priest, who alone has power from Christ 
to forgive sins : " Whose sins you shall forgive, they 
are forgiven them." They generally have an utter aver 
sion to confession ; they die in their sins, and are lost ; 
for sins, unrepented and unatoned for, stand through all 

Again., no grown person can enter the kingdom of 
heaven without good works. On the great day of judg 
ment Jesus Christ will say to the wicked : " Depart from 
me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire. For I was hungry, 
and you gave me not to eat ; I was thirsty, and you gave 
me not to drink," etc. (Matt, xxv, 41, 42.) It is true that 
many regular, naturally good Protestants practise good 
works, make long prayers, fast, give alms, and perform 
other works of natural virtue, all of which are, indeed, 
laudable actions. But all these works are destitute of 
one essential thing, viz., docility to faith, without which 
there is neither merit nor recompense. For merely 
natural virtues there are natural rewards. But works, to 
be meritorious of heaven, must be performed in the state of 
grace ; they must proceed from, and be vivified by, divine 
faith, to deserve an eternal reward ; for then it is that they 
proceed, as it were, from God himself, and from his divine 
Spirit, who lives in us, and urges us on to the performance 
of good works. 

Hence, as faith without works is dead, so also works 


without faith are dead, and cannot save the doer from 
destruction. Splendid, but barren works ! apparently de 
licious fruit, but rotten within ! In vain, then, shall they 
glory in these works. The Gospel will always tell them that 
he u who does not believe, is already judged." (John iii, 18.) 
The apostle will ever declare to them that ii without faith it 
is impossible to please God." (Heb. xi, 6.) Jesus Christ 
himself will ever command us to look upon u him as the 
heathen and the publican, who will not hear the Church " 
(Matt, xviii, 17), though otherwise he should be as severe 
in his life as an anchoret, as enlightened in his under 
standing as an angel. " In the Catholic Church," says 
St. Augustine, " there are both good and bad. But they 
who are separated from her, as long as they remain in 
their opinion against her, cannot be good ; for, although 
a kind of laudable conversation seems to show forth some 
of them as good, the separation itself makes them bad, the 
Lord saying : ( He who is not with me is against me ; and 
he who gathereth not with me, scattereth. 7 " (Ep. ccviii, 
n. 6, col. 1177.) What, then, will be the astonishment, 
sorrow, and despair of those who, void of faith, and sepa 
rated from the Church, will one day present themselves 
before God, and, imagining to have heaped up treasures of 
merits, will appear in his sight with their hands empty ? 

In the history of the foundation of the Society of Jesus, 
in the Kingdom of Naples, is related the following story 
of a noble youth of Scotland, named William Ephinstone : 
He was a relative of the Scottish king. Born a heretic, 
he followed the false sect to which he belonged ; but en 
lightened by divine grace, which showed him his errors, 
he went to France, where, with the assistance of a good 
Jesuit Father, who was also a Scotchman, he at length 


saw the truth, abjured heresy, and became a Catholic. 

He went afterward to Rome, joined the Society of Jesus, 

in which he died a happy death. When at Rome, a friend 

of his found him one day very much afflicted, and weep- 

-ing. He asked him the cause, and the young man answered 

that in the night his mother had appeared to him, and said : 

"My son, it is well for thee that thou hast entered the true 

Church; I am already lost, because I died in heresy. 7 

(St. Liguori, " Glories of Mary. 7 ) 

We read, in the Life of St. Rose of Viterbo, that she 
was inflamed with great zeal for the salvation of souls. 
She felt a most tender compassion for those who were 
living in heresy. In order to convince a certain lady, who 
was a heretic, that she could not be saved in her sect, and 
that it was necessary for salvation to die a true member 
of the Catholic Church, she made a large fire, threw her 
self into it, and remained in it for three hours, without 
being hurt. This lady, together with many others, on 
witnessing the miracle, abjured their heresy, and became 

When the Emperor Valens ordered that St. Basil the 
Great should go into banishment, God, in the high court 
of heaven, passed, at the same time, sentence against the 
emperor s only son, named Valentinian Galatus, a child 
then about six years old. That very night the royal 
infant was seized with a violent fever, from which the 
physicians were unable to give him the least relief; and 
the Empress Dominica told the emperor that this calamity 
was a just punishment of heaven for his banishing the 
bishop, on which account she had been disquieted by 
terrible dreams. Thereupon Valens sent for the saint, 
who was about to go into* exile. No sooner had the holy 


bishop entered the palace, than the fever of the child 
began to abate. St. Basil assured the parents of the 
absolute recovery of their son, on condition that they 
would order him to be instructed in the Catholic faith. 
The emperor accepted the condition, St. Basil prayed, 
and the young prince was cured. But Valens, unfaithful 
to his promise, afterward allowed an Arian bishop to bap 
tize the child. The young prince immediately relapsed 
and died. (Butler s " Lives of the Saints," June 14th.) 
By this miraculous cure of the child, God made manifest 
the truth of our religion ; and by the sudden death of the 
child, which followed upon the heretical baptism, God 
showed in what abomination he holds those who profess 

But is it not a very uncharitable doctrine to say that 
out of the Church there is no salvation ? If we desire 
that all those who are not members of the Catholic Church 
should cease to deceive themselves as to the true char 
acter of their belief, and propose to them considerations 
which may contribute to that result, it is certainly not 
from enmity to their persons, nor indifference to their 
welfare. As long as they remain victims of a delusion 
as gross as that which makes the Jew still cling to his 
abolished synagogue, and which only a miracle of grace 
can dispel, they will probably resent the counsels of their 
truest friends : but why do they take us for enemies ? 
"The Christian," as Tertullian said, "is the enemy of no 
one," not even of his persecutors. He hates heresy because 
God hates it, but he has only compassion for those who 
are caught in its snare. Whether he exhorts or reproves 
them, he displays not malice, but charity. He knows that 
rjthey are, of all men, the most helpless j and when his voice 

CREED. 283 

of warning is most vehement, he is only doing what the 
Church has done from the beginning. His voice is but 
the echo of hers. We are told that, before the Council 
of Nice, she had already condemned thirty-eight different 
heresies j and in every case she pronounced anathema 
upon those who held them. And she was as truly the 
mouthpiece of God in her judicial as in her teaching office. 

The Church is, indeed, uncompromising in matters of 
truth. Truth is the honor of the Church. The Church 
is the most honorable of all societies. She is the highest 
standard of honor, because she judges all things in the 
light of God, who is the source of all honor. A man who 
has no love for the truth, a man who tells a wilful lie or 
takes a false oath, is considered dishonored. No one 
cares for him ; and it would be unreasonable to accuse one 
of intolerance or bigotry because he refuses to associate 
with a man who has no love for the truth. It would be 
just as unreasonable to accuse the Catholic Church of 
intolerance, or bigotry, or want of charity, because she 
excludes from her society, and pronounces anathema 
upon, those who have no regard for the truth, and remain 
wilfully out of her communion. 

If the Church believed that men could be saved in any 
religion whatever, or without any at all, it would be unchari 
table in her to announce to the world that out of her there 
is no salvation. But, as she knows and maintains that there 
is but one faith, as there is but one God and Lord of all, 
and that she is in possession of that one faith, and that 
without that faith it is impossible to please God and be 
saved, it would be very uncharitable in her, and in all her 
children, to hide Christ s doctrine from the world. To 
warn our neighbor when he is in imminent danger of falling 


into a deep abyss, is considered an act of great charity. 
It is a greater act of charity to warn non-Catholics of the 
certain danger in which they are of falling into the abyss 
of hell, since Jesus Christ, and the apostles themselves, 
and all their successors, have always most emphatically 
asserted that out of the Church there is no salvation. 

Here it may be asked : Are all those who are out of 
the Church equally guilty in the sight of God? We 
answer : No j some are more guilty than others. It cannot 
be considered the personal fault, however great and 
terrible the misfortune, of any individual of the children 
of Adam that our first parents sinned. So it is not the 
fault of those who were born and educated in any of the 
errors or negations of Protestantism, in its hundred various 
forms. Involuntary error is a misfortune to be pitied, a 
calamity to be deplored. Only when entered into, or 
persisted in, against light and knowledge, can it be 
considered a sin, or other than a sin of ignorance. 
There are persons who sometimes commit actions which, 
in themselves, are very wrong, but are not punishable in 
the sight of God, because they do not proceed from 
wilful malice, as those who commit them are not aware in 
the least that by such actions God is offended. So there 
maybe persons who live in infidelity or heresy without being 
in the least aware of it. Now such inculpable ignorance 
will, of course, not save them j but, if they fear God, and 
live up to their conscience, God, in his infinite mercy, 
will furnish them with the necessary means of salvation, 
even so as to send, if needed, an angel to instruct them 
in the Catholic faith, rather than let them perish through 
inculpable ignorance. 

But there are others who are guilty in the sight of 


God. They are those who know the Catholic Church to be 
the only true Church, but do not embrace her faith, as 
also those who could know her, if they would candidly 
search, but who, through indifference, and other culpable 
motives, neglect to do so. 

19. Would it be right to say that one who was not 
received into the Church before his death is damned ? 

No; because, in his last hour, such a one may receive 
the grace to die united to the Catholic Church. 

It is not our business to say whether this or that one 
who was not received into the Church before his death is 
damned. What we condemn is the Protestant and the hea 
then system of religion, because they are utterly false j but 
we do not condemn any person God alone is the judge of 
all. It is quite certain, however, that, if any of those who 
are not received into the Church before their death, enter 
heaven, a lot which we earnestly desire and beg God to 
grant them, they can only do so after undergoing a 
radical and fundamental change before death launches 
them into eternity. This is quite certain, for the reason, 
among others, that they are not one ; and nothing is more 
indisputably certain than this, that there can be no 
division in heaven : a God is not the God of dissension," 
says St. Paul, " but of peace." He has never suffered 
the least interruption of union, even in the Church Militant 
no earth ; most assuredly he will not tolerate it in the 
Church Triumphant. God most certainly will remain 
what he is. Non-Catholics, therefore, in order to enter 
heaven, must cease to be what they are, and become 
something which now they are not. 

God, in his infinite mercy, may enlighten, at the hour of 
death, one who is not yet a Catholic, so that he may know 


and believe the necessary truths of salvation, be truly 
sorry for his sins, and die in such disposition of soul as is 
necessary to be saved. Such a one, by an extraordinary 
grace of God, ceases to be what he was ; he dies -united, 
at least, to the soul of the Church, as theologians call it. 

With regard to Catholics, the case is quite different. 
No change need come upon them, except that which is 
implied in passing from the state of grace to the state 
of glory. 

They will be one there, as they have been one here. 
For them the miracle of supernatural unity is already 
worked. That mark of God s hand is already upon them. 
That sign of God s election is already graven upon their 
foreheads. Faith, indeed, will be replaced by sight, but 
this will be no real change, because what they see in the 
next world will be what they have believed in this. The 
same sacramental King (to borrow an expression of 
Father Faber), whom here they have worshipped upon the 
altar, will there be their everlasting portion. The same 
gracious Madonna who has so often consoled them in the 
trials of this life, will introduce her own children to the 
glories of the next. They will not, in that hour, have to 
" buy oil " for their lamps, for they are already kindled 
at the lamp of the sanctuary. No wedding-robe will have 
to be provided for them, for they received it long ago at 
the baptismal font, and have washed away its stains in 
the tribunal of penance. The faces of the saints and 
angels will not be strange to them, for have they not 
been familiar with them from infancy as friends, com 
panions, and benefactors ? And being thus, even in this 
world, of the household of faith, and the family of God, 
not only no shadow of change need pass upon them, but 


to vary in one iota from what they now believe and prac 
tise, would simply cut them off from the communion of 
saints, and be the most overwhelming disaster which 
could befall them. 

We have seen that there is no salvation possible out of 
the Roman Catholic Church. It is therefore very impious 
for one to think and to say that " every religion is good." 
To say every religion is good, is as much as to ><*ay : The 
dg vil is as good as God. Hell is as good as heaven. 
Falsehood is as good as truth. Sin is as good as virtue. 
It is impious to say, "I respect every religion. 7 This is 
as much as to say : I respect the devil as much as God, 
vice as much as virtue, falsehood as much as truth, dis 
honesty as much as honesty, hell as much as heaven. It 
is impious to say, " It matters very little what a man 
believes, provided he be an honest man. Let such a one 
be asked whether or not he believes that his honesty and 
justice are as great as the honesty and justice of the Scribes 
and Pharisees. These were constant in prayer, they paid 
tithes according to the law, gave great alms, fasted twice 
in every week, and compassed sea and land to make a 
convert, and bring him to the knowledge of the true God. 
Now, what did Jesus Christ say of this justice of the 
Pharisees? u Unless," he says, a your justice shall exceed 
that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into 
the kingdom of heaven." (Matt, v, 20.) The righteousness 
of the Pharisees, then, must have been very defective in the 
sight of God. It was, indeed, nothing but outward show 
and ostentation. They did good only to be praised and 
admired by men j but, within, their souls were full of im 
purity and malice. They were lewd hypocrites, who 
concealed great vices under the beautiful appearance of 


love for God, charity to the poor, and severity to them 
selves. Their devotion consisted in exterior acts, and 
they despised all who did not live as they did ; they were 
strict in the religious observances of human traditions, but 
scrupled not to violate the commandments of God. No 
wonder, then, that this Pharisaic honesty and justice were 
condemned by our Lord. To those, therefore, who say, 
"It matters little what a man believes, provided he be 
honest," we answer : " Your outward honesty, like that of 
the Pharisees, may be sufficient to keep you out of prison, 
but not out of hell. It should be remembered that there 
is a dishonesty to God, to one s own soul and conscience, 
as well as to one s neighbor/ 7 

You say, it is enough to be an honest man. What do 
you mean by an honest man ? The term, honest man, is 
rather a little too general. Go, for instance, to that 
young man whose shameful secret sins are written on his 
hollow cheeks, in his dull, lack-lustre eye : ask him if one 
can be an honest man who gratifies all his brutal, shameful 
passions. What will be his answer ? u W T hy," he will 
say, " these natural follies and weaknesses do not hinder 
a man from being honest. To tell the truth, for instance, 
I am somewhat inclined that way myself, and yet I would 
like to see the man that would doubt my honesty." 

Go to that covetous shopkeeper, who sells his goods as 
if they were of the finest quality j go to that tradesman, 
that mason, that bricklayer, or carpenter, who does not 
work even half as diligently when he is paid by the day 
as when he is paid by the job ; go to these men that have 
grown rich by fraudulent speculation, by cheating the 
public or government ; go to the employers that cheat the 
servant and the poor laborer : ask them if what they do, 


prevents them from being honest people, and they will 
answer you coldly that they are merely tricks of trade, 
shrewdness in business ; that they do not by any means 
hinder one from being an honest man. 

Go, ask that habitual drunkard, ask that man who has 
grown rich by selling liquor to drunkards : ask them 
whether these sins do not hinder them from being honest, 
and they will tell you, "By no means. They are honest 
men, very honest men." 

Go, ask that man or that woman who sins against the 
most sacred laws of nature 5 go, ask that doctor who mur 
ders the poor helpless babe before it can see the blessed 
light of day : ask them if those who are guilty of such 
foul deeds are honest gentlemen, and they will tell you, 
with the utmost assurance, that such trifles do not hinder 
one from being a gentleman from being a respectable 
lady ! 

True faith requires obedience, humility, and childlike 
simplicity j it excludes pride, self-will, clinging to our own 
ideas, and that unwillingness to obey which hurled the angels 
from heaven, and cast our first parents out of paradise. 
Faith is a duty which God requires of us, a,nd unless we fulfil 
this duty sincerely, we can never enter the kingdom of heaven. 
One may say : " To submit to the yoke of faith is to submit 
to a spiritual and moral tyranny ; it is to lose one s liberty." 
There is liberty, and there is license. To be the slave of 
vile passions, and seek to satisfy them always, and at any 
cost, is not true liberty. Surely God is free. But God can 
not sin. It is, therefore, no mark of liberty to be under 
the power of sin ; on the contrary, it is the very brand of 
slavery. The power of sin implies the possibility of 
becoming a slave of sin and the devil. Those, then, who 


are greatly under the power of sin, and so go to hell, cannot 
truly be called free men. They are blinded and brutalized 
by satisfying the promptings of their brute nature, and 
thus renounce their glorious freedom, to sell it for a bestial 
gratification. He only is truly free who wills and does 
what God wishes him to do for his everlasting happiness. 
Now, as we have seen, God wishes that all should be saved 
in the Koman Catholic Church. Those, therefore, who 
believe and do what the Church teaches^ do not lose 
their liberty 5 on the contrary, they enjoy true liberty, 
and make the proper use of it. Hence, the greater oar 
power of will is, and the less difficulty we experience in 
following the teaching of the Church, the greater is our 
liberty. Accordingly, Catholics, who live up to the teach 
ing of the Church, enjoy greater liberty, and peace, and 
happiness, than Protestants and unbelievers, because they 
are the children of the light of truth, that leads them to 
heaven ; whilst those who live out of the Church are the 
children of the darkness of error, which leads them, 
finally, into the abyss of hell. 

If no one, then, can be saved except in the Roman 
Catholic Church, all those who are out of it are bound to 
become members of the Church. This is what common- 
sense tells every non- Catholic. In worldly affairs, Protes 
tants never presume to act without good advice. They 
never compromise their pecuniary interests or their lives, 
by becoming their own private interpreters and practition 
ers of law or medicine. Both the legal and the medical 
books are before them, written by modern authors, in clear 
and explicit language, but they have too much practical 
common-sense to attempt their interpretation. They 
prefer always to employ expert lawyers and physicians, 


and accept their interpretations, and act according to their 
advice. Now, every non-Catholic believes that every 
practical member of the Catholic Church will be saved. 
Hence, when there is question about eternal salvation and 
eternal damnation, a sensible man will take the surest 
way to heaven. It was this that decided Henry IV of 
France to abjure his errors. A historian relates that 
this king, having called before him a conference of the 
doctors of either Church, and seeing that the Protestant 
ministers agreed, with one accord, that salvation was 
attainable in the Catholic religion, immediately addressed 
a Protestant minister in the following manner: "Now, 
sir, is it true that people can be saved in the Catholic 
religion ? " u Most assuredly it is, sire, provided they 
live up to it." "If that be so/ 7 said the monarch, 
u prudence demands that I should be of the Catholic 
religion, not of yours, seeing that in the Catholic Church 
I may be saved, as even you admit ; whereas, if I remain 
in yours, Catholics maintain that I cannot be saved. 
Both prudence and good sense tell me that I should 
follow the surest way, and so I propose doing." Some 
days after, the king made his abjuration at St. Denis. 
(Guillois, ii, 67.) 

Christ assures us that the way to everlasting life is 
narrow, and trodden by few. The Catholic religion is 
that narrow road to heaven. Protestantism, on the con 
trary, is that broad way to perdition trodden by so many. 
He who is content to follow the crowd, condemns him 
self by taking the broad way. A man says : "I would 
like to believe, but I cannot." You say you " cannot 
believe." But what have you done, what means have you 
employed, in order to acquire the gift of faith ? If you 


have neglected the means, you show clearly that you do 
not desire the end. 

God bestowed great praise upon his servant Job. Ho 
said of him that "he was a simple and upright man, 
fearing God and avoiding evil." (Job. i, 8.) There is 
nothing that renders a soul more acceptable to God than 
simplicity and sincerity of heart in seeking him. There is ? 
on the other hand, nothing more detestable to him than a 
double-minded man, who does not walk sincerely with his 
God : " Woe to them that are of a double heart, . . . and to 
the sinner that goeth on the earth two ways." (Ecclus. ii, 
14.) Such a man should not expect that the Lord will 
enlighten and direct him. Our Saviour assures us that 
his heavenly Father makes himself known to the little 
ones, that is, to those who have recourse to him with a 
simple and sincere heart. 

This sincerity and uprightness of heart with God are 
especially necessary for him who is in search of the true 
.religion. We see around us numberless jarring sects, con 
tradicting one another j we see the one condemning what 
the other approves, and approving what others condemn ; 
we see some embracing certain divine truths, and others 
rejecting those truths with horror, as the doctrine of devils. 
Now common-sense tells every one that both parties can 
not be right ; that the true religion cannot be on either 
side. Among such confusion of opinions, the mind is 
naturally at a loss how to discover that one true Church 
in whose bosom the truth is to be found. 

In the search after truth, one must find immense dif 
ficulties. There is prejudice. It is the effect of early 
training, of life-long teaching, of reading, and of living in 
the world. It is the result of almost imperceptible im- 


prfessions, and yet its force, as an obstacle, is such as in 
many cases to defy human efforts to remove it. It is like 
the snow which begins to fall, as the darkness sets in, on 
roof and road, in little flakes that come down silently all 
the night, and in the morning the branches bend, and the 
doors are blocked, and the traffic on road and rail is 
brought to a standstill. 

There, again, is the favor of friends, the fear of what the 
world will say, worldly interest, and the like. All these 
will be set to work by the enemy of souls to blind the 
understanding, that it may not see the truth and to avert 
the will from embracing it. Nothing but a particular 
grace from heaven can enlighten the mind to perceive the 
light of truth through such clouds of darkness, and to 
strengthen the will with courage to embrace it, in spite of 
all these difficulties. It is, without doubt, the will of God, 
that u all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge 
of the truth " (1 Tim. ii, 4) ; but it is also the will of God 
that, in order to come to this knowledge, men must seek it 
with a sincere and upright heart, and this sincerity of heart 
must show itself in their earnest desire to know the truth : 
11 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for 
they shall be filled." Hence they must labor diligently to 
find out the truth, using every means in their power for 
that purpose. Negligence of inquiry, and the evidences of 
our faith, are great, and therefore the ignorance of many 
must needs be highly sinful. Man s understanding was 
given to him, to enable him to embrace holy and salutary 
truths. Negligence in this is worthy of damnation j and 
as everything tends easily to its natural end, so our 
natural, intellectual virtue is nearer finding God than 
it is finding his contrary, for God is always ready to aid 


those who seek him with a good and honest heart : and 
thus we find that to Cornelius, a Pagan, yet living relig 
iously, and fearing God, St. Peter was sent to convert him 
and all his family. God, says St. Thomas Aquinas, will 
send an angel to a man ignorant of the Christian law, but 
living up to his conscience, to instruct him in the Christian 
religion, rather then let him perish through inculpable 

There are laws to regulate man s will and affections, and 
so there are also laws to fix limits to his understanding 
to determine what he should believe, and what he should 
not believe ; and therefore ignorance is damnable, for men 
ought to believe what they do not ; and they ought curi 
ously to inquire what are these laws. Whereas, the 
multitude run, with all their strength, to sin and death as 
their end, and it is not strange that they should find it. 

The first and great cause of all these errors is negligence 
of inquiry ; and the second is, aversion to believe what; 
ought to be believed of God, and a hatred for the things 
that would enlighten and convert the soul. If men will 
not heed either holy words or miracles, it is not strange 
that they remain in error. They must study religion, 
with a sincere desire to find out the truth. If they wish 
to find out the truth, they must not appeal to the enemies 
of truth. They must consult those who are well instructed 
in their religion, and who practise it. They must consult 
the priest. He will explain to them the true doctrine of 
the Catholic Church. Moreover, sincerity of heart must 
show itself in a firm resolution to embrace the truth 
whenever it shall be found, and whatever it may cost the 
seeker. He must prefer it before every worldly consider 
ation, and be ready to forfeit everything in this life : the 


affections of his friends, a comfortable home, temporal 
goods, and prospects in business, rather than deprive his 
soul of so great a treasure. 

The New York Freeman s Journal, Sept. 2d, 1854, 
contains the following notice on the late General Thomas 
F. Carpenter. The words of this notice are written by 
ex-Governor Laurence. The general, when about to 
become a Catholic, made known his intention to a friend. 
The friend, of course, was surprised. He instanced the 
fearful results consequent upon a proceeding so unpopu 
lar, the loss of professional practice, the alienation of 
friends, the scoffs of the crowd, etc. "All such blessings," 
replied General Carpenter, " I can dispense with, all 
such insults I can despise, but I cannot afford to lose my 
immortal soul." The general spoke thus, because he 
knew, and firmly believed, what Jesus Christ has solemnly 
declared, to wit : " He who loveth father or mother more 
than me, is not worthy of me j and he that loveth son or 
daughter more than me, is not worthy of me " (Matt, x, 
37) ; and as to the loss of temporal gain, he has answered : 
" What will it profit a man if he gain the whole world, 
and suffer the loss of his soul? " (Mark viii ; 36.) 

But would it not be enough for such a one to be a Cath 
olic in heart only, without professing his religion publicly ? 
No j for Jesus Christ has solemnly declared that " he 
who shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him the 
Son of man shall be ashamed when he shall come in his 
majesty, and that of his Father, and of the holy angels." 
(Luke ix, 26.) 

But might not such a one safely put off being received 
into the Church till the hour of death ? 

This would be to abuse the mercy of God, and, in pun- 


ishment for this sin, to lose the light and grace ot faith, 
and die a reprobate. In order to obtain heaven, we must 
be ready to sacrifice all, even our lives : u Fear ye not 
them/ 7 says Christ, u that kill the body, and are not able 
to kill the soul ; but rather fear him that can destrdy 
both soul and body in hell." (Matt, x, 28.) 

How often do we meet with men who tell us that they 
would gladly become Catholics, but it is too hard to live 
up to the laws and maxims of the Church ! They know 
very well that, if they become Catholics, they must lead 
honest and sober lives, they must be pure, they must 
respect the holy sacrament of marriage, they must check 
their sinful passions; and this they are unwilling to do: 
" Men love darkness rather than light," says Jesus Christ, 
"because their deeds are evil." Remember the well- 
known proverb : u There are none so deaf as those that 
will not hear." 

They are kept back from embracing the faith, because 
they know that the truths of our religion are at war with 
their sinful inclinations. It is not surprising that these 
inclinations should revolt against immolation. The pru 
dence of the flesh understands and feels that it loses all, 
if the truths of faith are listened to and taken for the 
rule of conduct ; that it must renounce the unlawful enjf>y- 
ments of life, must die to the world and to itself, and bear 
the mortification of Jesus Christ in its body. 

At the mere thought of this crucifixion of the flesh and 
its concupiscence, imposed on every one who would belong 
to the Saviour, the whole animal man is troubled. Self- 
love suggests a thousand reasons to delay at least the sacri 
fices that affright them. The prudence of the flesh, having 
the ascendency, obscures the most simple truths, attracts and 

CREED. 297 

flatters the powers of the soul ; and when, afterward," faith 
endeavors to interpose its authority, it finds the under 
standing prejudiced, the will overcome or weakened, the 
heart all earthly-minded ; and hard, indeed, is it for faith to 
reduce the soul to its dominion. Those who listen to the 
prudence of the flesh will never become Catholics. 

Finally, those who seek the truth must show their 
sincerity of heart in fervently and frequently praying to 
God that they may find the truth, and the right way that 
leads to it. Faith is not a mere natural gift ; it is not 
an acquired virtue or habit j it is something altogether 
supernatural. The right use of the natural faculties can, 
indeed, prepare one to receive faith ; but true faith, that 
is, to believe, with an unwavering conviction, in the 
existence of all those things which God has made known, 
is a supernatural gift, a gift which no one can have of 
himself; it is the free gift of God : " For by grace you are 
saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the 
gift of God." (Eph. ii, 8.) God is so great and good, that 
we cannot merit and possess this good by anything we may 
do. Now, it is by the gift of faith that we have in some 
measure a glimpse of all that God is, and that consequently 
we attach ourselves to this supreme good, and behold ! 
we are saved. We can say with David, in the trtiest sense, 
that in enlightening us the Lord saves us : " The Lord 
is my light, and my salvation." (Ps. xxvi, 1.) Hence it 
is evident that this gift is a free gift of God, without the 
least merit on our part. When this light or grace shines 
upon the understanding, it enlightens the understanding; 
so as to render it most certain of the truths which are 
proposed to it. But this mere knowledge of the truth is 
not as yet the full gift of faith. St. Paul says (Rom. i, 2) 


that the heathens knew God, but they would not obey him, 
and consequently their knowledge did not save them. You 
may convince a man that the Catholic Church is the true 
Church, but he will not, on that account, become a Catholic. 
Our Saviour himself was known by many, and yet he 
was followed only by few. Faith, then, is something more 
than knowledge. Knowledge is the submission of the un 
derstanding to truth ; but faith implies also the submission 
of the will to the truth. It is for this reason that the light 
or grace of faith must also move the will, because a good 
will also belongs to faith, since no one can believe unless 
he is willing to believe. It is for this reason that faith 
is also rewarded by God, and infidelity punished : (t He 
that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he 
that believeth not shall be condemned." (Mark xvi, 16.) 
God will never refuse to bestow this gift of faith upo^n 
those who seek the truth with a sincere heart, use their 
best endeavors to find it, and sincerely pray for it with 
confidence and perseverance. Witness Clovis, the heathen 
King of the Franks. When he, together with his whole 
army, was in the greatest danger of being defeated by 
the Alemanni, he prayed as follows : 

u Jesus Christ, thou of whom Clotilde (the king s 
Christian wife) has often told me that thou art the Son of 
the living God, and that thou givest aid to the hard-pressed, 
and victory to those who trust in thee ! I humbly crave thy 
powerful assistance. If thou grantest me the victory over 
my enemies I will believe in thee, and be baptized in thy 
name ; for I have called upon my gods in vain. They must 
be impotent, as they cannot help those who serve them. 
Now I invoke thee, desiring to believe in thee ; do, then, 
deliver me from the hands of my adversaries ! " 

CREED. 299 

No sooner had he uttered this prayer than the Alemanni 
were panic-stricken, took to flight, and soon after, seeing 
their king slain, sued for peace. Thereupon Clovis blended 
both nations, the Franks and the Alemanni, together, 
returned home, and became a Christian. 

Witness F. Thayer, an Anglican minister. When as 
yet in great doubt and uncertainty about the truth of his 
religion, he began to pray as follows : 

" God of all goodness, almighty and eternal Father of 
mercies, and Saviour of mankind ! I implore thee, by thy 
sovereign goodness, to enlighten my mind, and to touch 
my heart, that, by means of true faith, hope, and charity, 
I may live and die in the true religion of Jesus Christ. 
I confidently believe that, as there is but one God, there 
can be but one faith, one religion, one only path to salva 
tion ; and that every other path opposed thereto can lead 
but to perdition. This path, my God ! I anxiously seek 
after, that I may follow it, and be saved. Therefore I 
protest, before thy divine majesty, and I swear by all thy 
divine attributes, that I will follow the religion which thou 
shalt reveal to me as the true one, and will abandon, at 
whatever cost, that wherein I shall have discovered errors 
and falsehood. I confess that I do not deserve this favor 
for the greatness of my sins, for which I am truly peni 
tent, seeing they offend a God who is so good, so holy, 
and so worthy of love ; but what I deserve not, I hope to 
obtain from thine infinite mercy ; and I beseech thee to 
grant it unto me through the merits of that precious blood 
which was shed for us sinners by thine only Son, Jesus 
Christ our Lord, who livetli and reigneth, etc. Ame^n." 

God was not slow to hear so sincere and fervent a 
prayer, and Thayer became a Catholic. Let any one who 


is as yet groping in the darkness of infidelity and error, 
pray in the same manner, and the God of all light and 
truth will bestow upon him the gift of faith in a high 
degree. It is human to fall into error, devilish to remain 
in it, and angelical to rise from it, by embracing the truth 
which leads to God, by whom it has been revealed and is 
preserved in his Church. 

20. Will all Catholics be saved? 

No : those Catholics only will be saved who believe and 
practise what the Church teaches. 

We teach, indeed, and we firmly believe, that there is 
no salvation out of the Catholic Church ; yet we do not 
teach that all who are members of the Catholic Church 
will be saved. Certainly in our cities and large towns, 
nay, even in small villages of our great country, may be 
found many so-called liberal or nominal Catholics, who are 
no credit to their religion, to their spiritual mother, the 
Church. Subjected as they were, in the land of their 
birth, to the restraints imposed by Protestant or quasi- 
Protestant governments, they feel, on coming here, that 
they are loosed from all restraint ; and forgetting the 
obedience that they owe to their pastors, to the prelates 
whom the Holy Ghost has placed over them, they become 
insubordinate, and live more like non-Catholics than 
Catholics. The children of these are, to a great exteht ? 
shamefully neglected, and suffered to grow up without 
sufficient moral and religious instruction, and to become 
the recruits of our vicious population. This is certainly to 
be deplored, but can easily be explained without prejudice 
to the truth and holiness of the Catholic religion, by ad 
verting to the condition to which those individuals were 
reduced before coming to this country $ to their disap- 


pointments in a strange land ; to their exposure to new 
and unlooked-for temptations ; to the fact that they were 
by no means the best of Catholics, even in their native 
countries ; to their poverty, destitution, ignorance, insuffi 
cient culture, and a certain natural shiftlessness and reck 
lessness, as well as to the great lack of Catholic schools, 
churches, and fervent priests. As low and degraded as 
this class of the Catholic population may be, they are 
not so low as the corresponding class of non -Catholics 
in every nation j at the worst, there is always some germ 
that, with proper care, may be nursed into life, that may 
blossom and bear fruit. Their mother, the Church, 
n^ver ceases to warn them to repent, and be cleansed 
from their sins by the sacrament of penance. If they 
do not heed the voice of their mother, but continue to live 
in sin to the end of their lives, their condemnation will be 
greater than that of those who were born to an inheri 
tance of error, and whose minds have never been pene 
trated by the light of truth : " That servant," says Jesus 
Christ, "who knew the will of his Lord, and did not 
according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 
But he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, 
shall be beaten with few stripes. And unto whomsoever 
much is given, of him much shall be required j and to 
whom they have committed much, of him they will demand 
the more." (Luke xii, 47, 48.) " Woe to thee, Corozain, 
woe to thee, Bethsaida j for if in Tyre and Sidon had been 
wrought the mighty works that have been wrought in 
you, they would have done penance long ago, sitting in 
sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for 
Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you j and thou, 
Capharnaum, which art exalted unto heaven, thou shalt 


be thrust down to hell." (Luke x, 13-15.) To know, 
then, and to believe the Catholic doctrine, the will of God, 
is one thing, and to live up to it is another. Hence, " Not 
the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers 
of the law shall be justified." (Rom. ii, 13.) Holy Scrip 
ture compares the true faith, sometimes to a buckler, and 
sometimes to a sword. The buckler protects him only 
who covers himself with it j and a sword, to be useful to 
repel an enemy, must be drawn from the scabbard. So 
it is not mere faith, but its practice, which constitutes its 
merit, and strength, and reward. The Gospel brought light 
and death: light to those who practise it, and death to 
those who neglect its practice. " From the days of John 
the Baptist until now," says our Lord, " the kingdom of 
heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away." 
(Matt, xi, 12.) The difference between the practical and 
the lukewarm Christian is simply this : the latter regards 
faith as a matter of fact, but without its consequences, 
or practical part. He remembers, it is true, from time 
to time, the great truths of religion : death, judgment, 
heaven and hell ; but he remembers these and other truths, 
and his duties, only in a superficial manner j he never 
reflects seriously on them, and for this reason he is never 
touched by them. No wonder if he continues to walk on 
the broad road to hell, and is lost. But the practical 
Christian always tries to walk on the narrow road to 
heaven. He constantly meditates upon the sacred truths 
of his religion. Everywhere he carries with him their 
wholesome impression. The truths of faith animate him 
in all the details of life. He has for his principle of action 
the Holy Ghost. the Spirit of Jesus Christ. It is no more 
he who lives j it is Jesus Christ who lives in him. Accord- 


ingly, he judges of the things of this world in the know 
ledge which Jesus Christ has given us in their regard ; 
that is, he judges of them even as Jesus Christ himself 
judges of them. Hence it is that he fears only that which 
faith teaches him to fear. He desires only those things 
which faith tells him to wish for j he hopes only for that 
which faith teaches him to hope for. He loves, or he 
hates, or he despises, all that faith teaches him to love, or 
to hate, or to despise. What does he say of the riches of 
this world ? He says, with Jesus Christ : " Blessed are 
the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven " 
(Matt, v, 3) ; and, " Woe to you that are rich, for you 
have your consolation." (Luke vi, 24.) 

What does he say of the honors of this world ? He 
says, with Jesus Christ : " Woe to you when men shall 
bless you." (Luke vi, 26.) 

What does he say of the wisdom of this world ? He 
says, with St. Paul : " The wisdom of this world is foolish 
ness with God." (1 Cor. iii, 19.) And with Jesus Christ, 
he says : " Unless you become as little children, you 
shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." 

What judgment does he pass upon the pleasures of this 
world ? He says, with Jesus Christ : " Woe to you that 
now laugh, for you shall mourn and weep." (Luke vi, 25.) 
" Watch ye, therefore, because you know not at what 
hour the Lord will come." (Matt, xxiv, 42.) 

What judgment does he pass upon old age ? With the 
Holy Ghost, he says : " Venerable old age is not that of 
long time, nor counted by the number of years, but a 
spotless life is old age." (Wisd. iv, 8.) 

What does he say of the trials, persecutions, and injus 
tices of this world ? He says, with Jesus Christ : " Blessed 


shall ye be when men shall hate you, and when they shall 
separate you, and shall reproach you, and cast out your 
name as evil, for the Son of man s sake. Be glad in 
that day and rejoice, for behold your reward is great in 
. heaven." (Luke vi, 22.) 

He watches and prays. He watches over his soul, that 
no sinful thought may enter there j and should it enter 
unawares, he casts it out instantly. He watches over his 
heart, that no sinful affection may possess it. He watches 
over his eyes, that they may not gaze on any pictures, 
books or other objects, that could soil the purity of his 
soul. He watches over his ears, that they may not 
listen to any immodest words, or words of double meaning. 
He watches over his tongue, and remembers that his 
tongue has been sanctified in holy communion, by touching 
the virginal flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. He watches 
over his whole body ; for he knows that the body of the 
good Christian is the temple of the Holy Ghost, conse 
crated in baptism, and that he who desecrates a holy 
temple is accursed of God. He is watchful day and 
night, and avoids the occasions of sin, those persons and 
places which might be to him an occasion of sin. 

He also prays often to Jesus. He knows that Jesus is 
a jealous God, who commands us to call upon him, espe 
cially in the hour of temptation, and to receive him often 
in holy communion. He prays to Mary, the mother of 
faith, the lovely standard-bearer of all the elect. The 
very name of Mary is sweet balm to him, which heals and 
fortifies the soul. The very thought of Mary s purity is 
a check upon his passions a fragrant rose that puts to 
flight the foul spirit of uncleanness. 

Thus he thinks, judges, and acts according to the truths 

CREED. 305 

of the Gospel, or the principles of Jesus Christ ; and it is 
thus that he lives by faith, as St. Paul says. Faith is the 
life of the just man. It is the life of his intellect, by the 
truths which enlighten him ; it is the life of his heart, by 
the sentiments of justice and holiness which it imparts ; 
it is the life of his works, which it renders meritorious for 
all eternity ; and this happy life is obtained and enjoyed 
in the Church Militant of Christ alone in the One Holy 
Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, "which Christ so 
took unto himself, as to make it a partaker of his own 
divinity. He, therefore, who confesses in God this holy 
Church is so united to Christ, as to be translated into the 
whole glory of his divinity the body being united to its 
head; the Bride (Church) to her Bridegroom, Jesus Christ." 
(St. Peter Chrysologus, Serm. 57, 58 and 60. 

21. What do we believe when we say, I believe the holy 
Catholic Church? 

We believe : 1 , that the holy Catholic Church alone is the 
true Church of Christ; 2, that she is infallible in her 
teaching, and endless in her duration ; 3, that out of the 
Catholic Church there is no salvation. 

It is now nearly nineteen centuries since the Roman 
Catholic Church was established by Christ. Ever since 
that time she has been like a " city set upon a hill, which 
cannot be hid." She can be seen by all. She can be 
known to all by the marks of unity, holiness, Catholicity 
and Apostolicity, which are indelibly stamped upon her. 
She is " one body," living under one Head ; she is " one 
sheepfold under one Shepherd ;" she is a kingdom under one 
King j she is an ark or ship commanded by one Captain ; 
she is built on an immovable rock, which is Peter : she 
is possessed of the rights of Jesus Christ} she is the 


infallible teacher of the doctrines of Jesus Christ j she 
exercises the authority of Jesus Christ; she is the 
faithful guardian of the spiritual treasures of Jesus 
Christ ; she lives by the life and spirit of Jesus Christ ; 
she is guided and protected by Jesus Christ ; she speaks, 
she gives orders and commands, she makes concessions, 
prohibitions, and definitions, she looses and binds, in the 
name of Jesus Christ. 

The Church is the salt of the earth, which preserves 
the world from corruption 5 she is the guide of men, to 
prevent them from falling into the pitfalls of Satan ; she 
is the light of the world, to reveal to mankind the false 
maxims which are gnawing at their lives, and the falla- 
ices which are undermining their happiness j she is the 
remedy for all ills, and the fountain of all blessings ; she 
can never give up the work for which Jesus Christ has 
established her ; she has Christ s promises : " I will give 
you the spirit of faith;" "I will be with you always j " 
" The gates of hell shall not prevail against thee ;" " What 
soever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, 
and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in 
heaven ; " " He that heareth you heareth me ; " " If any 
man will not hear the Church, let him be as the pagan 
and a publican ; " " The Church is the pillar and founda 
tion of the truth." 

From the time of the apostles the true followers of 
Christ have been called Catholics. The meaning of this 
appellation has always been that they belonged to the 
One Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church. The 
term "Catholic 7 has always distinguished them from 
every heretical sect. They were known by this term in 
every part of the world. Within the few last years, how- 


ever, certain persons have arisen who are not satisfied 
with the name of Catholic. Hence they call themselves 
" Liberal Catholics." If asked in what they differ from 
Catholics, they answer : " Our motto is : Catholic with 
the pope, but liberal with the government." 

Liberal Catholics falsely assert "that it is a mistake to 
protect and foster religion ; because religion," they say ? 
u will flourish much better if left alone ; that the world has 
entered a new phase, and has begun to run a new course, 
and consequently the Church should accommodate herself 
to the spirit of the age ; that religion has nothing to do with 
politics ; that it has to do only with the private lives of 
men ; that religion must keep inside the Church that it 
is meant for Sundays alone ; that we must be generous 
in our religious feelings toward non-Catholics; that a 
Catechism, therefore, in which every truth taught by the 
Church is set forth in its full bearing, is not fit to be put 
in the hands of our children, because it is calculated to 
repel the children of non-Catholics, and alienate their 
feelings, and to make religious fanatics of our good chil 
dren," and the like. A Liberal Catholic, therefore, is a 
compound of true and false principles. He has two 
consciences : one for his public, and another for his private 
life. The motto, "Catholic with the pope, but liberal 
with the government," has for its basis the infidel doctrine 
of the separation of the Church from the State j of the 
spiritual from the temporal, a doctrine condemned by 
Pius IX, in the fifty-fifth proposition of the Syllabus. 
This doctrine tends to put the State aboVe the Church, as 
if the State were the omnipotent ruler of all things, the 
teacher of truth, the fountain of right, the source of law, 
and the interpreter of faith. In the eightieth proposition 


of the Syllabus, all the false principles of Liberalism, of 
progress, and of modern civilization, are declared to be 
irreconcilable with the Catholic faith. 

On the 18th of June, 1871, Pope Pius IX, in replying 
to a French deputation headed by the Bishop of Nevers, 
spoke as follows : " My children, my words must express 
to you what I have in my heart. That which afflicts 
your country, and prevents it from meriting the blessings 
of God, is the mixture of principles : I will speak out, 
and not hold my peace. That which I fear is not the 
Commune of Paris, those miserable men, those real demons 
of hell, roaming upon the face of the earth no, not the 
Commune of Paris ; that which I fear is Liberal Catholi 
cism. ... I have said so more than forty times, and I repeat 
it to you now, through the love that I bear you. The real 
scourge of France is Liberal Catholicism, which endeavors 
to unite two principles, as repugnant to each other as fire 
and water. My children, I conjure you to abstain from 
those doctrines which are destroying you. ... If this 
error be not stopped, it will lead to the ruin of religion 
and of France." In a brief, dated July 9, 1871, to Mgr. 
Segur, the Holy Father says : " It is not only the infidel 
sects who are conspiring against the Church and society 
that the Holy See has often reproved, but also those men 
who, granting that they act in good faith, and with upright 
intentions, yet err in caressing liberal doctrines. 77 On 
July 28, 1873, his Holiness thus expressed himself: " The 
members of the Catholic Society of Quimper certainly 
run no risk of being turned away from their obedience to 
the Apostolic See by the writings and efforts of the 
declared enemies of the Church; but they may glide 
down the incline of those so-called liberal opinions which 


have been adopted by many Catholics, otherwise honest 
and pious, who, by the influence of their religious char 
acter, may easily exercise a powerful ascendency over 
men, and lead them to very pernicious opinions. Tell, 
therefore, the members of the Catholic Society that, on 
the numerous occasions on which we have censured those 
who hold liberal opinions, we did not mean those who 
hate the Church, whom it would have been useless to 
reprove, but those whom we have just described. Those 
men preserve and foster the hidden poison of liberal 
principles, which they sucked as the milk of their edu 
cation, pretending that those principles are not infected 
with malice, and cannot interfere with religion j so they 
instil this poison into men s minds, and propagate the 
germs of those perturbations by which the world has for 
a long time been vexed." 

A Liberal Catholic, then, is no true Catholic. The 
*vord Catholic is no vain and empty word. To be a true 
Catholic means to hold most firmly all those truths which 
Christ and his apostles have taught, which the Catholic 
Church has always proclaimed, which the saints have 
professed, which the popes and councils have defined, 
and which the Fathers and Doctors of the Church have 
defended. He who denies but one of those truths, or 
hesitates to receive one of them, is not a Catholic. He 
claims to exercise the right of private judgment in regard 
to the doctrine of Christ, and therefore he is a heretic. 
The true Catholic knows and believes that there can be 
no compromise between God and the devil, between truth 
and error, between orthodox faith and heresy. St. 
Stephen, the first martyr, was no compromiser. When 
accused of being a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, he, 


in his turn, accused his enemies of being the murderers 
of Christ. All the holy martyrs of the Church were no 
compromisers. Being charged by the heathens with the 
folly of worshipping and following a crucified God, they, in 
their turn, charged the heathens with the impiety of wor 
shipping creatures, and following the devil. Why is our 
Holy Father, Pope Pius IX, a prisoner ? It is because he 
is not, and cannot be, a compromiser. Why are, at this 
time, so many bishops and priests exiled or in prison ? It 
is because they are no compromisers. Why is the Catholic 
Church persecuted in Germany and other parts of the 
world ? It is because God, by means of persecution, 
purifies his Church from liberal or compromising Catholics. 
And as there are so many liberal Catholics in this country, 
persecution must come to separate them from the Church. 
The good Catholic knows and understands that the 
Catholic Church never has required, nor will require, a 
particular form of civil government ; for she has lived with 
the Venetian aristocracy, with the Swiss democracy, with 
the mixed aristocracy and democracy of Genoa, with 
the British and the United States constitutions, and 
with many absolute monarchies. But he knows, at the 
same time, that no form of government, no times and cir 
cumstances, can change the doctrine and constitution of 
the Church, because they are divine, immutable, and 
everlasting. The good Catholic, therefore, is always in 
readiness to obey, in all things, the true Spouse of Christ 
our Lord, the holy Roman Catholic Church. The well- 
instructed Catholic knows that between Jesus Christ and 
his Spouse, the Church, there is but one and the same 
Spirit, who governs and directs us all to our salvation, 
that same Spirit and Lord who one day gave the law on 



Mount Sinai, and who now rules and governs the holy 
Church. This firm adhesion to every truth of the Church 
distinguishes the true Catholic from the Liberal Catholic, as 
well as from all Protestants, from all schismatics, from all 
heretics. When Protestants abandoned the Church, the 
guardian of divine truth, they gave themselves up to hun 
dreds of errors. Good Catholics, on the contrary, keep 
ing, as they do, in the footsteps of the Church, and humbly 
submitting to all her doctrines, retain within themselves 
the principle of truth and of divine certainty. They feel 
assured that what the Church orders, is ordered by Jesus 
Christ 5 and that what the Church forbids, is also forbidden 
by Jesus Christ. 

The principle of heresy is the principle of rebellion 
against the Church, and against every lawful authority on 
earth, The principle of the Church, on the contrary, is 
to be submissive to every lawful authority. The essential 
principle of politics and of life is ardently to love the 
Church, profoundly to revere the Church, unhesitatingly to 
submit to the Church, and to be most closely united with 
the Church. Our Lord asks of us no other submission ; he 
requires of us no other faith than that which the Church 
teaches. His will and his truth are made known in the 
Church. As he and his Father are one, so also he and 
his Church are one. No one can, in truth, call God his 
Father, who does not look upon the Church as his mother. 

In the Church alone there are certainty and security 
against error. Around this Rock we beho ld nothing but 
raging tempests, nothing but disastrous shipwrecks, in 
difference to religion, negation of all worship, the abomi 
nation of atheism and immorality, derision of holy things, 
a fanatic pietism, a delirious religiousness, rationalism, or 


the denial of all revelation and of everything supernatural. 
Every non-Catholic who earnestly seeks to learn what he 
is to believe, every one who yearns to obtain certainty in 
religious matters, must sooner or later turn to the, Church 
as the only source of certainty, the only guardian of th<3 
true religion, the only fountain of true peace and happiness 
in life and in death. 

There are many noble-hearted souls created by God for 
a high purpose to shine amid the angels throughout all 
eternity. Their sensibilities are so keen, that they seem 
born only to suffer and weep. Their path to heaven is, 
indeed, a path of thorns. Their griefs and yearnings are 
such that but few can understand them. God help these 
noble souls if they are deprived of the strength and con 
solations of the Catholic Church ! Out of the Church 
they must bear their anguish alone. In the hour of happi 
ness they were told that religion would console them in the- 
hour of sorrow. And now the hour of sorrow has come 
"Whither shall they turn for strength and consolation 1 ? 
To books to the Bible ? Books are cold and wearisome ; 
their words are dead. Oh ! how they envy the penitent 
Magdalen, who could sit at the feet of Jesus, and hear from 
his blessed lips the sweet words of pardon and peace! 
They turn to God in prayer, but God answers them not by 
the Urim and Thummim ; and, in their doubt and loneli 
ness, they envy even the Jews of old. In vain do they listen 
to the voice of God, because God has appointed a voice 
to speak and answer in his name ; but that voice is only 
within the shepherd s fold, the Roman Catholic Church j 
and they are kept without the fold by cruel enemies, 
where the voice of the shepherd cannot reach them. 

How different it is with the faithful Catholic soul ! Try 


to call to mind some virtuous friend of yours 5 try to imagine 
one who is learned and pious, devoting his whole life, not 
to the care of a family, but solely to the service of God ; 
imagine such a one ever ready to aid you in your neces 
sities, spiritual and even temporal, ever wise in giving 
counsel, gentle in reproving, clear in teaching, and power 
ful in word and deed 5 imagine that such a one were your 
friend, your intimate friend, how great would be your 
happiness ! 

Imagine, moreover, that this kind, trustworthy friend 
is appointed by God himself to be your constant guide 
and director ; imagine him bound by the most sacred 
oath never to reveal, even by word or look, any 
secret you may confide to him imagine, moreover, that 
this friend has received from God the power to forgive 
every sin that you confess to him with true contrition, 
imagine all this, and you will have what every Catholic 
has in the priest of his Church. The priest, invested as 
he is by the Church with her divine powers, stands con 
spicuous in the midst of his people. He has, however, 
not Deceived his extraordinary powers for himself, he haa 
received them for the benefit of the people ; he is to live, 
not for himself, no, he is to live for the people ; he is the 
companion of their hardships 5 he is the soother of their 
afflictions, the guardian of their interests ; he is the 
trustee of their hearts, the sentinel of their death-beds. 
Hence the good Catholic is accustomed, even from his 
childhood, to communicate to his confessor every trial and 
temptation that disturbs his peace of heart. He goes to 
his confessor for consolation in the hour of darkness and 
sorrow ; he asks his advice when in doubt ; he consults 
him in every important undertaking. Our Lord Jesus 


Christ promised his beloved disciples that, though he would 
quit the earth, yet he would not leave them i/m orphans" he 
would send them the Spirit of Truth to be their comforter. 
Now this divine promise was ratified, and even in 1 a great 
measure fulfilled, when ? on Easter-Sunday night, Jesus 
appeared to his apostles, and gave them the Holy Ghost, 
saying : " Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whosesoever sins 
you forgive, they are forgiven them ; and whosesoever sins 
you retain, they are retained." At that solemn moment 
Jesus constituted his priests fathers of the faithful, from 
whom they were to receive the spirit of grace and consola 
tion, even to the end of time. 

The same divine hand which poured such wonderful 
affection into the heart of the mother, fills the heart of the 
good priest with divine charity, and teaches him to adapt 
his treatment to the spiritual wants of his penitent. The 
priest feels for his penitent as an earthly father feels for 
his child ; and as a spiritual father, he judges and decides 
according as he thinks it is best for the eternal welfare of 
the penitent. 

To the faithful Catholic soul, the portals of the Cath 
olic Church, his most tender mother, stand ever open. 
Hither she may come as to a healing fountain, whose 
waters ever flow. Here she may lave her burning brow j 
here she may drink of the cooling stream, and allay the 
feverish anguish of her soul. Here Jesus himself, the 
dearest of friends, speaks to her by the mouth of him to 
whom he has given the Holy Ghost, the spirit of con 

Mrs. Moore, a very intelligent lady of Edinton, North 
Carolina, and a convert to our holy faith, said to her 
Protestant children on her death-bed : " my children ! 


there is such hope, such comfort in our holy religion ! 
When I was so near death, and believed I should never 
see you again, my soul was filled with anguish. When 
I thought I was so soon to meet my God, I feared ; but 
when I had made my confession to his own commissioned 
minister, and received absolution in the name of the Holy 
Trinity, death was divested of every sting. Each day I 
thank God more and more that he has given me grace to 
break the ties that kept me from the Church. I have 
never looked back with regret, and, in fact, I wonder why 
I could ever have been anything but a Catholic." 

Go to the sick-bed j draw near the bedside of that poor 
wretch whom every one has forsaken ; ask him who is the 
consoling angel that pours upon his weary heart the balm 
of hope and consolation, and he will tell you it is the 
Roman Catholic priest. About twenty years ago, when 
the French troops were encamped around Gallipolis, the 
cholera burst suddenly ^upon them. They were unpre 
pared for that terrible visitor. Father Gloriot, S. J., was 
alone in an army of ten thousand men. " I was obliged," 
says he, " to hear their confessions on my knees, and 
stooping by their couches. Indeed, I learned then that, 
to save souls for Jesus Christ, it is necessary to undergo, 
with him, the double agony of mind and body. Yet my 
greatest trial was my loneliness. I was alone ; I had not 
had the consolation of confession for six weeks past j 
everybody died around me, and, should I be taken sick, 
there was none to assist me in my dying hour. But God, 
in his mercy, preserved me, that I might attend to the 
wants of souls so well prepared. The trials were certainly 
great, but great were also the consolations. Whenever I 
entered those places of desolation, I was hailed from all 


parts ( Chaplain, here ! come here to me ! Make haste 
to reconcile me to God ! I have only a few moments to 
live ! ? Some would press my hand to their hearts, and 
say, with grateful feelings : i How lucky for us that you 
are here ! Were you not with us, who would console us 
in our last moments V 

Enter the dark and mouldy dungeon where the unhappy 
prisoner pines away in weary captivity ; ask him who it 
is that lightens his chains, and makes his prison walls look 
less dreary, and he will tell you it is the priest of the 
Catholic Church. 

Go upon the scaffold where the wretched criminal is 
about to expiate his crime. Who is it that stands at his 
side, and strips death of its terrors ? It is again the 
priest. With one hand the priest shows the dying man the 
cross, the hope of the repentant sinner, and with the other 
he points to heaven, that blessed home where the weary 
find rest. 

In 1851, a murder was committed near Paris, in France. 
A captain, of the carabineers, an excellent officer, beloved 
by all, going, as usual, the rounds of the stables, had 
reprimanded one of the troopers whose conduct had riot 
been very regular. The latter made no reply, but turned 
away with apparently a calm countenance, and went up to 
the mess-room. There he loaded one of his horse-pistols, 
and, going back to the stable, approached his captain, and, 
with a deadly aim, discharged the arm against the loins of 
the officer. 

The unfortunate man fell, weltering in blood. They 
took him up, carried him to his room, and the sur 
geons pronounced the wound mortal. In fact, the poor 
captain breathed his last a few hours after, in the arms 


of his old mother, in the midst of horrible sufferings, 
endured heroically, and with sentiments of faith and charity 
truly admirable. He had made his confession with great 
piety, had received the blessed sacrament, and in imitation 
of his divine Master praying on the cross for his crucifiers, 
had pardoned his murderer, and begged for his pardon 
with the most touching and pressing appeal. 

The murderer had been arrested on the spot, and trans 
ferred to the prison in Paris. There he was abandoned 
by all, except by the priest. Two or three days after the 
deed had been committed, the priest went to see the 
trooper for the first time, in the cell of the military prison. 
He encouraged him to hope in the mercy of God, and to 
prepare himself for a good confession, and to accept death 
in expiation for his crime. The poor criminal was touched 
by the words of the priest, and said : "I have been the 
victim of a moment of fury and insanity. It was a punish 
ment from God, whom I had abandoned. Had I always 
prayed as I do now, I should not have come to this pass. 
My father said to me often : * Fear God, and pray to him j 
he alone is good, all the rest are nothing ! But it is so hard 
to do so at the regiment ; we are always surrounded by 
young men who say nothing but what is bad." When he 
heard that he was sentenced to death, he exclaimed : 
" The sentence is just ; to appeal would be going against 
the goodness of God. They would show me a mercy that 
I do not wish for, because the punishment must be under 
gone. I must atone for what I have done. My hopes are 
no longer here below j I have only God now to look to. 
He is now everything to me ; in him alone do I trust j I 
feel quite calm : I feel no rebellion in my heart j I am 
perfectly resigned to the will of God." 


Now, what brought about that calmness, that happiness, 
in this poor prisoner ? It was his sincere confession, which 
the priest was kind enough to hear j it was holy com 
munion, which the priest brought to him several times ; 
in a word, it was the charity of the priest, who often went 
to see him in his prison, in order to console him, and to 
inspire him with great confidence in the mercy of God. 

During the three hours and a half of the drive to the 
place of execution, he never lost his calmness j God was 
with him in the person of the priest, who accompanied him 
to the Savory Plains, where he was to be shot. What a 
touching spectacle, to behold, on a wagon, a tall man, 
the culprit, followed by the priest of God ; to see how the 
priest was even paler than the culprit ; and to see them 
walking side by side, you would think that lie was the one 
to be shot ! 

The expression of the culprit s countenance was great 
calmness and resignation ; his eyes betrayed at once sor 
row and hope. He seemed to pray with fervor. There 
was no sadness in his looks ; there could even be seen the 
reflection of a certain inward joy. He listened, with love 
and deep attention, to the words addressed to him by the 
minister of Jesus Christ. When the priest said to him, 
" Our Lord is between us two ; my poor child, we are 
always well when the good Saviour is with us," he 
replied : " Oh, yes, my heart is perfectly h^ppy ! I did 
not think I should tell you, but I feel as if I was g<iing to 
a wedding. God has permitted all this for my good, to 
save mv soul. I feel so much consoled, thinking that my 
poor captain died a good Christian ! I am going to see 
him : he is praying for me now. My God has saved me j 
I feel that he will have mercy on me. He ascended 


Calvary ; carrying his cross; I accompany him. I shall 
not resist whatever they wish to do with me tie me, or 
bandage my eyes. Ah ! the poor soldiers are lost because 
they do not listen to you priests. Without you, without 
religion, the whole world would be lost !" 

When they drove by the barracks, where he had com 
mitted the murder, he offered a prayer for his captain. 
" I can t conceive how I could have done it ! I had no ill- 
will against him ! Could the commission of a sin save me 
from being shot, I would not do it : I think so now. I 
have nothing to keep me here ; I am going to see God !" 

When they had arrived at the place of execution, the 
priest and the culprit alighted. An officer read the sen 
tence. The culprit replied : " I acknowledge the justice 
of my punishment, I am sorry for what I have done, I 
beg of God to pardon me j I love him with all my heart ! " 
Then he knelt j the priest gave him the crucifix to kiss, 
for the last time. u My father," he said, with feeeling 
expression, " my father, I place my soul within vour 
hands ; I unite my death with that of my Saviour, Jesus. 
Farewell ! farewell ! " The priest embraced him once 
more. Then, with his arms extended in the form of a 
cross, the culprit inclined his head, and awaited his death. 
The priest retired to pray at some distance. One minute 
after, human justice had been satisfied, and the soul of the 
unfortunate soldier, purified and transformed by religion, 
had fled to the bosom of Him who pardons all to those who 
repent. The priest resumed his place by him, and, with 
tears in his eyes, prayed, on his knees, for the departed 
soul of the unfortunate carabineer. 

Go where you will, through all the miseries of this life, 
and you will find that everywhere the consoling angel of 


God, the father of the poor and friendless, is the priest of 
the Catholic Church. He labors day and night, without 
boasting, without praise, and often without any other 
reward, in this life, than contempt and ingratitude., If a 
dangerous disease breaks out in the parish, the priest does 
not abandon the post of danger. The Catholic priest is no 
coward, the Catholic priest is no hireling. Devbted and 
fearless, he remains to encourage his flock, to give them 
the last sacraments, and, if need be, even to die with 

A poor man is dying in his wretched hovel. In the 
midst of the winter s night the priest hears a knock at his 
door ; he is told that one of his flock requires his assist 
ance. The bleak winter wind howls around him, the 
chilling rain beats pitilessly in his face, yet he hurries on ; 
there is a soul to save, there is a soul to aid in its fearful 
death-struggle: that makes him forget everything else. 
At last he enters the house of death j he enters the sick 
man s room, though he knows that the very air of that 
room is loaded with pestilence. He receives the last 
whisper of the dying man j he breathes into his ear the 
sweet words of pardon and of psace. He bends oVer the 
sick man s infected body, and breathes the tainted breath 
from his impoisoned lips. The priest is willing to risk his 
own life, provided he can save the soul of his fellow-man. 

During the Crimean War, the cholera raged in the 
division of Herbillon. The soldiers became restless j 
they looked gloomy, and spoke despondingly, because the 
victims were many, and it was not the kind of death a 
soldier likes. What troubled the soldiers most, was the 
prevailing thought that the plague was communicated by 
contact : and there was great dejection in camp. u What 

CREED. 321 

shall we do. Monsieur PAbbe V J said the general to Father 
Parabere. " Those boys look as if they were frightened." 
" Oh, it is necessary to let that fear know that it has to 
attack Frenchmen and Christians ! Leave it to me, general." 
And the dauntless priest walked straight to the very quar 
ters where the pest raged most furiously. A poor soldier was 
in the last convulsions, and in the throes of his agony. 
The heroic priest had still time left to console and to 
absolve him, and then he closed his eyes. Then he called 
all the comrades of the dead man around his couch, and 
endeavored to persuade them that the scourge was not con 
tagious j but as some of them shook their heads, he added, 
il You will not believe me to-day, you shall to-morrow." 
And just think of it, the brave priest lies down on the 
same couch with the man dead of cholera, and prepares 
himself to pass the night with that novel bedfellow ! 
Many hours passed away, and Pere Parabere, who certainly 
had worked enough during the day to need rest, did not 
quit his post until he was called to prepare another man 
for death. On the morrow, the whole camp had heard of 
it, and the soldiers, recovering from their fear, said to one 
another, " There s a man who has no fear ! n 

It is only a few years ago that a young Irish priest, then 
in the first year of his mission in this country, received 
what to him was literally the death-summons. He was 
lying ill in bed when the "sick-call" reached his house, 
the pastor of the district being absent. The poor young 
priest did not hesitate a moment : no matter what the con 
sequence to himself might be, the Catholic should not be 
without the consolations of religion. To the dismay of 
those who knew of his intention, and who remonstrated in 
vain against what to them appeared to be an act of madness, 


he started on his journey, a distance of thirty-six miles, 
which he accomplished on foot, in the midst of incessant 
rain. Ah ! who can tell how often he paused involuntarily 
on that terrible march, or how he reeled and staggered as 
he approached its termination ? Scarcely had he reached 
the sick man s bed, and performed the functions of the 
ministry, when he was conscious of his own approaching 
death 5 and there being no brother priest to minister to 
him in his last hour, he administered the viaticum to him 
self, and instantly sank on the floor, a corpse. 

How often does not the priest risk his health, his honor, 
his life, and even his immortal soul, in order to help a 
poor dying sinner ! How often is not the priest found on 
the battle-field, whilst the bullets are whistling, and the 
shells are shrieking around him ! How often is he not 
found on his knees beside the dying soldier, hearing his last 
confession, and whispering into his ear the sweet words of 
pardon and peace ! How often must not the priest visit 
the plague-stricken in the hospitals, and in the wretched 
hovels of the poor ! How often must he not remain, eVen 
for hours, in a close room, beside those infected with the 
most loathsome diseases ! When all else, when friends 
and relatives, when the nearest and dearest have aban 
doned the poor dying wretch, then it is that only the 
priest of God can be found to assist him in his last and 
fearful struggle. 

Whilst St. Charles Borromeo was Bishop of Milan, there 
broke out a fierce plague in that city. The priests of the 
city generously offered their services. They entered the 
houses of the plague-stricken, they heard their confessions, 
and administered to them the last sacraments. Neither 
the loathsome disease, nor the fear of certain death, could 


appall them, and they all soon fell victims to their zeal. 
Death swept them away, but their places were filled by 
other generous priests, who hastened from the neighboring 
towns, and, in a short time, one thousand eight hundred 
priests fell victims to their charity. 

And not in Italy alone, in every clime beneath the 
sun, the Catholic priest has proved the earnestness of 
his charity, by the generous sacrifice of his life. I need 
only mention the sufferings and heroism of the Catholic 
priests of Ireland, during the long and bloody persecutions 
that have afflicted that ill-fated country. The Catholic 
priests of Ireland were outlawed ; they were commanded 
to quit the country j the^ were hunted down like wolves. 
But, for all that, they did not abandon their poor 
suffering children. They laid aside their rich vest 
ments, they laid aside their priestly dress, and disguised 
themselves in the poorest and most humble attire. Their 
churches were burned down and desecrated ; but then 
the cabins of their persecuted countrymen were opened 
to them. And the Catholic priest shared in the poverty 
and the sorrows of his poor children. He followed 
them into the forest j he descended with them into 
the caves. Often in some lonely hut, in the midst of a 
dreary bog, or amid the wild fastnesses of the rugged 
mountains, the priest could be found kneeling at the bed 
side of a poor dying father or mother, whilst pale and 
starving children were weeping around. There you 
could find the Catholic priest hearing the last confession 
of that poor soul, aiding her in her death-struggle, and 
reciting the touching prayers of the Church, by the dim 
flickering of a poor rushlight. The Catholic priest did 
not abandon his poor, persecuted flock, even though he 


knew that a price was set on his head, though he knew 
that spies and informers were in search of him, though 
he knew that well-trained blood-hounds were sent out to 
track him. The Catholic priest did not forsake his 
children, though he knew that if he were taken the rack 
and the gibbet awaited him. He suffered not only poverty 
and sorrows with his poor flock, but he often underwent 
the most cruel death ; for, whenever a priest was found in 
the country, the tender mercy of the tyrant had decreed 
that he was to be hanged, drawn and quartered. 

Would to God I could take you to the Martyr s Room 
in Paris, where priests, loving their God and their neigh 
bors, are incessantly preparing themselves to go to preach 
the Gospel, suffer and die for the faith, among the Pagans ! 
Would to God you could see there that sacred army, 
filled with generous soldiers of Jesus Christ, who aspire to 
the pacific conquest of infidel realms ; who burn with the 
hopes of shedding their blood on the battle-fields of faith, 
sacrifice, and martyrdom ; who very often attain, after a 
life of labors, toils, and torments, the ensanguined crown, 
which has been the goal of their life-long aspirations ! t 

When they have attained it, when their heads have fallen 
under a Pagan s sword, their vestments, their hallowed 
bones, the instruments of their martyrdom, are reverently 
gathered by the Christians of the lands where they have 
been martyred, and sent to Paris ; and the hall where all 
these precious relics are gathered is called the Martyr s 
Room. The sight alone of this sanctuary, fresh with the 
blood of those lovers of Jesus Christ, is the most eloquent ot 
sermons on the priest s charity toward the people. Bones 
and skeletons, and skulls of martyred priests, enclosed in 
glass cases j instruments of martyrdom j paintings repre- 


senting insufferable torments 5 iron chains which tortured 
the limbs of the confessors of faith ; ropes which strangled 
them ; crucifixes crimsoned with the blood of those who 
impressed on them their last kiss of love ; garments, en 
sanguined linen : oh ! what a sight ! Great God, what a 
lesson ! 

Here a huge cangue, which rested for six long months 
on the shoulders of Bishop Borie j there a mat clogged 
with the blood of John Baptist Cornay, who upon it was 
beheaded and quartered, like the animal that is butchered. 
Near by, a painting describing the horrible torment of 
the blessed Marchant, whom the executioners chopped all 
alive, from head to foot, until he died of suffering and 
exhaustion ; everywhere, in every corner, the image of the 
good priest dying for the love of God and of his brethren, 
and of the fiend in human shape crucifying, with an in 
defatigable hatred, our Lord Jesus Christ in the person of 
his priests. 

If you wish to know what the Catholic priest has done, 
go ask the winds, that have heard his sighs and his 
prayers ; ask the earth, that has drunk in his tears and 
his blood ; go ask the ocean, that has witnessed his death- 
struggle, whilst speeding on an errand of mercy ! Go to 
the dreary shores of the icy North, go to the burning sands 
of the distant South, and the bleached and scattered bones 
of the Catholic priest will tell you how earnestly he has 
labored for the welfare of his fellow-men. 

If the many happy souls that have died in the arms, 
died with the blessing, of the priest, could appear before 
you at this moment, they would describe to you, in glow 
ing language, the great benefits they have derived from 
the Catholic priest. They would say to you : " We were 


weak and helpless, but the consoling words of the priest 
gave us strength. We trembled at the thought of God s 
judgments, but the blessing and absolution of the priest 
gave us a supernatural courage. We were tormented by 
the assaults of the devil, but the power of the priest put 
the Evil One to flight. We were heart-broken at the 
thought of bidding a long farewell to wife and children, 
to the nearest and dearest, but the priest turned our 
weeping eyes toward a happier home, where there is no 
parting, -no weeping, no mourning, any more ! And even 
when our soul had left the body, when our friends were 
shedding fruitless tears over the cold corpse, even then the 
priest of God still followed us with his prayers ; he com 
mended us to the mercy of God ; he called upon the angels 
and saints to come to our aid, to present us before the throne 
of God. Ah ! now we understand, indeed, that whose 
soever sins the priest forgives on earth, they are truly for 
given them in heaven." 

The priest has enemies. He knows it, but he does not 
complain. The world, too, hated and persecuted his 
divine Master. But the priest opens his lips only to pray 
for them; he raises his hand only to bless them. He 
remembers the words of Jesus : u I say to you, love 
your enemies, do good to those that hate you, bless those 
that curse you, and pray for those that persecute and calum 
niate you;" and, like his divine Master, the priest says : 
" Father, forgive them." 

During the French Revolution, a wicked monster who 
had often dyed his hands in the blood of priests, fell dan 
gerously ill. He had sworn that no priest should ever 
set his foot in his house, and that, if any dared to enter, 
he should never leave it alive. A priest heard of his illness j 

CREED. 327 

lie heard, too, of the impious vow he had made. But he 
heeded it not. The good shepherd must be ready to lay 
down his life for his sheep. As soon as this wicked monster 
saw the priest standing before him, he flew into a rage : 
tl What ! " cried he, a a priest in my house ! Bring me 
my pistols." Then the dying ruffian raised his brawny arm, 
and shook it threateningly at the priest. " See !" he cried, 
with a horrible oath, " this arm has murdered twelve of 
such as you." 

" Not so, my good friend," answerd the priest, calmly, 
"you murdered only eleven. The twelfth now stands 
before you." Then baring his breast, he said : tl See here, 
on my breast, the marks of your fury ! See here the scars 
that your hand has made ! God has preserved my life, 
that I might save your soul." With these words the priest 
threw his arms around the neck of the dying murderer, 
and, with tears in his eyes, conjured him, by the precious 
blood of Jesus Christ, to have pity on his poor soul, and 
make his peace with God. 

Such is the Catholic priest. I tell the truth when I say 
that he is indeed an angel of God, with the heart of a man j 
and this angel of the Lord is found in the Roman Catholic 
Church alone. 

glorious Church of Rome ! whence Peter will forever 
strengthen his brethren ! In thee there is neither Greek, 
nor Barbarian, nor Scythian, nor Jew, nor Gentile ; in thy 
bosom all are as one people. Thou art the mighty tree 
which has been planted by the hand of Jesus Christ. 
Every branch which is separated from that tree fades, 
withers, dies, and is thrown into the fire. Thou art a most 
tender mother. Whence is it that thy divine authority 
should give such vain offence to so many unnatural chil- 


dren, make them rise up against thee, and see in tliee but 
a stepmother ? Thou art the great city of refuge. In 
thee alone are found true comfort, strength, and peace of 
heart. Out of thee there is nothing but anguish and 
black despair. 

In this Church, where dwells the hidden God of love, 
The good, and pure, and true die never; 
On high they reign with God forever ! 

God speed the day when all division in religion shall 
end ! God speed the hour when all men shall be united in 
this one, true, enduring fold ; when the sceptre of the 
Roman Catholic Church shall be extended benignly over 
an obedient and rejoicing world ; and when all, upon be 
ing asked, " What do we believe when we say, I believe 
the holy Catholic Church?" will unanimously answer : 
" We believe that the holy Catholic Church alone is the 
true Church of Christ ; that she is infallible in her teaching, 
and endless in her duration j and that out of the Catholic 
Church there is no salvation " 1 



HOLT Scripture tells us that, when the holy man Tobias 
considered the great benefits which God had bestowed 
upon his family through the angel Raphael, he was seized 
with fear j he was at a loss how to express his gratitude j 
he and his family fell prostrate upon their faces for three 
hours, thanking and blessing the Lord. He called his 
son Tobias, and said to him : " What can we give to this 
holy man that is come with thee ? " And the young 
Tobias said to his father: "Father, what wages shall we 
give him, or what can be worthy of his benefits ? He 
conducted me, and brought me safe again ; he received 
the money of Gabelus, he caused me to have my wife, 
and he chased from her the evil spirit ; he gave joy to her 
parents, myself he delivered from being devoured by the 
fish j thee also he hath made to see the light of heaven, and 
we are filled with all good things through him. What 
can we give him sufficient for these things ? But I 
beseech thee, my father, to desire him that he would 
vouchsafe to accept of half of all the things that have 
been brought." (Tobias, xii.) It is thus that this holy 
family showed themselves thankful to God and his holy 
angel for the divine blessings. 

Now you have seen that the priest is, for you, the true 
angel of God j you have seen that his dignity is far more 


sublime than that of the angel Kaphael ; you have seen 
tha-t the priest s powers far surpass those of all the angels 
of heaven ; that his offices are of greater importance to 
you than those of the angels : that the benefits which 
God bestows upon you, through the hands of the priest, 
far surpass those which he bsstows through his holy 
angels ; you have seen that the Catholic priest lives not; 
for himself, but exclusively for you j that he is invested 
with the most extraordinary powers, not for his benefit, 
but for yours ; in a word, you have seen that God has 
given you, in the priest, all the goods and blessings of 
heaven and earth. What fitting thanks can you, then, 
offer to the Almighty ? Ah ! if the Lord had only once 
shown you but one single mark of affection, even then 
you would be under infinite obligations to him, and he 
would deserve an infinite thanksgiving from you ; inas 
much as that affection is the gift and favor of an infinite 
God. But since you daily receive, through the priest, 
blessings of God, infinite in number and greatness, what 
should then be your thanksgivings to God and his angel, 
the priest ? With Tobias you should say : " What shall 
we give to this holy man ? What can be worthy of his 
benefits? - Were you, in imitation of Tobias, to offer 
to God and his priest one-half of all your goods, it would 
be a poor return for the divine blessings. Believe me, 
you will never be able, in this world, fully to understand 
what God has given to you in the priest, and what you 
should be to the priest ; you will understand it only in the 
world to come. But let me beseech you to believe, at 
least, what you cannot understand. And if you live up 
to this belief, you will listen to our Lord when he speaks 
of the priest, and says : " He that receiveth you receiveth 


me ; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me." 
(Matt, x, 41.) Our divine Saviour spoke these words to 
his apostles, and to all his priests in general, to encourage 
them in establishing on earth his kingdom, the Catholic 
Church. You know very well that, in order to establish, 
and keep established, the holy Church, the priests have to 
announce the Gospel truths ; they have to administer the 
sacraments. But this is not enough : they have also to 
build churches, or keep the old ones, and everything that 
belongs to them, in good condition and repair j they have 
to erect and to support Catholic schools, hospitals, and 
orphan asylums. They are the ministers of God, and, as 
such, they are charged with the honor of his worship, and 
the care of his sacred temples. They are, moreover, the 
almoners of the poor, and the fathers of the needy. 
How, think you, can poor priests meet all the expenses 
that they must necessarily incur in the exercise of the 
sacred ministry 1 Only put yourselves a day or two in 
the place of your priests ; take care of all the poor of 
the place ; assist all the needy that come to your door, or 
that modestly hide their poverty from every one but the 
priest of God. Try to support Catholic schools, colleges, 
hospitals, orphan asylums. Build new churches, or keep 
old ones in good condition. Do all this, and more, and you 
will find out what the difficulties and crosses, the troubles 
and hardships, of the priests are in this country. You 
will find out that it requires heroic virtue, angelic 
patience, and superhuman courage in the priests, to 
comply with their duties toward God and men. 

Jesus Christ knew full well all the difficulties which his 
poor priests had to encounter. But he encourages them ; 
he says to them : " He that receiveth you receiveth me j and 


he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that 
receiveth a prophet n (a priest) " shall receive the reward 
of a prophet " (of a priest). Jesus Christ made the salva 
tion of the people dependent on the priest, and he made, 
also, the priest dependent on the people for his support, and 
other expenses which he has to incur in the exercise of 
the sacred ministry. It is by this mutual dependence 
that our divine Saviour keeps the priests united with the 
people. The devil, the cursed spirit of discord, has often 
tried to break up this sacred union between Catholic 
nations and their clergy. He has succeeded in many 
countries by means of Protestant governments, but he 
never could succeed in one country, in the country of 
the glorious St. Patrick, in Ireland. There the govern 
ment of England offered, some years ago, to support the 
Catholic clergy. Had this offer been accepted, the Cath 
olic priests of Ireland would have become dependent on 
the English government ; and that close union and warm 
love, that deep-rooted respect and esteem, which, for so 
many centuries, have existed between the Irish Catholics 
and their priests, would soon have fallen a prey to the 
devilish trick of the government. But, thanks be to God, 
and to the foresight and wisdom of the Irish clergy ! the 
devil and his colleague, the English government, met, in 
this instance, as in many others, with a cold reception 
with a flat refusal. 

Jesus Christ has given to his priests ever so many 
reasons to keep up mutual love between themselves and 
the people. Priests, no doubt, will do all in their power 
to establish and to preserve this love. But Jesus Christ 
wishes also that the people should preserve this mutual 
love between themselves and the clergy. To obtain this 


object, they are commanded to support and assist the 
clergy but in order to make them observe this command 
ment joyfully, Jesus Christ holds out to the people a most 
powerful inducement. He says to every Catholic : "If 
you receive my priest, you receive me j and by receiving 
me, you receive my heavenly Father." In other words, 
Jesus Christ says that, by supporting and assisting the 
priests, you support and assist your divine Saviour himself, 
who looks upon all the difficulties of his priests as his own, 
because they are his representatives on earth. 

Moreover, in order to make Catholics cling to their 
priests, and keep them closely united with them, Jesus 
Christ promises them an immense reward. He says : " He 
that receiveth a prophet " (a priest) " shall receive the 
reward of a prophet. 7 Our divine Saviour has attached 
great blessings to the charity which is shown to the least 
of his brethren on earth : "Amen I say to you, as long as 
you did it to one of these, my least brethren, you did it to 
me. 7 (Matt, xxv, 40.) By saying, " To the least of these, 
my brethren, 77 Jesus Christ gives us to understand that 
there is another class of his brethren who are great in his 
sight, and whom he loves most tenderly. Now, if God 
bestows such great blessings upon those who are charitable 
to the least of the brethren of Jesus Christ, how much more 
abundantly will he not bestow his blessings upon those who 
are charitable to his great friends ! The Holy Ghost calls 
our particular attention to this great truth when he says, in- 
holy Scripture : " If thou do good, know to whom thou 
doest it, and there shall be much thanks for thy good 
deeds. Do good to the just, and thou shalt find great 
recompense ; and if not of him, assuredly of the Lord. 7 
(Ecclus. xii, 1, 2.) To the just, especially to those who 


are eminently just, may be applied what the angel of 
the Lord said of John the Baptist, namely, that " he was 
great before God." (Luke i, 15.) The reason of this is, 
because Jesus Christ lives in the just by his grace : "I 
live, now not I," says St. Paul, " but Christ liveth in me." 
(Gal. ii, 20.) Hence, whatever is given to a just man, is 
given to Christ himself in a more special manner. To 
show this in reality, Christ has often appsaredin the form 
and clothing of a poor man, and as such begged and 
received alms. This happened to John the Deacon, as is 
related in his life by St. Gregory. The same saint relates 
also (Horn. 39, in Evang.) that Jesus Christ, in the form 
of a leper, appeared to a certain charitable monk, named 
Marty rius, who carried him on his shoulders. The same 
happened to St. Christopher, and also to St. Martin, Bishop 
of Tours. When St. Martin was still a s6ldier, and 
receiving instruction for admission into the Catholic Church, 
he gave one-half of his mantle to a poor man j the follow 
ing night Jesus Christ appeared to him, wearing this 
mantle, and said to the angels who surrounded him : 
" Behold ! this is Martin who gave me this mantle !" 

Once St. Catharine of Sienna gave to a poor beggar 
the silver cross she wore, having nothing else about her 
to give. During the night Christ appeared to her, and 
said that, on the day of judgment, he would show that 
cross to the whole world in proof of her charity. God, 
then, rewards liberally those who are charitable to the 
least of his brethren ; but he rewards far more liberally all 
those who are charitable to his friends, to the just : " He 
that receiveth a just man," says Jesus Christ, u in the 
name of a just man (that is, because he is a just man, a 
friend of God), shall receive the reward of a just man. 7 


But what will be the reward of all those who liberally 
and joyfully support and aid the priests, the ministers arid 
true representatives of God, through whose ministry men 
are made just and holy ? To understand this, I must make 
here a very important remark, to which I call your special 
attention, namely : that there are degrees in this well-do 
ing. The more just a man is, both for himself and others 5 
the more souls he leads to justice, to holiness of life, the 
greater will be his reward, and consequently the greater, 
also, will be the reward of him who assists such a just man : 
" They that instruct many to justice, shall shine as stars 
for all eternity. 7 (Dan. xii, 3.) To whom can these words 
of holy Scripture be applied more truly than to fervent 
pastors of souls and missionary priests ? They devote 
their whole life to the salvation of souls. Now, there is 
nothing more pleasing in the sight of God than laboring 
for the salvation of souls : " We cannot offer any sacrifice 
to God," says St. Gregory, " which is equal to that of the 
zeal for the salvation of souls." " This zeal and labor 
for the salvation of men," says St. John Chrysostom, " is 
of so great a merit before God, that to give up all our 
goods to the poor, or to spend our whole life in the exercise 
of all sorts of austerities, cannot equal the merit of this 
labor. This merit of laboring in the vineyard of the Lord 
is something far greater than the working of miracles. To 
be employed in this blessed labor is even more pleasing 
to the Divine Majesty than to suffer martydom." If, then, 
in the opinion of the Fathers of the Church, and of all the 
saints, there can be no greater honor and no greater merit 
than that of working for the salvation of souls, we must 
also say that there can be no work of corporal mercy more 
honorable and more meritorious than that of giving chari- 


table aid to the pastors of souls, to missionary priests, and 
to persons consecrated to God. To such as give this aid 
may be applied the words of the prophet : " They shall 
shine as stars for all eternity." " The charity which you 
bestow," says Aristotle (Ethic., lib. i, c. 3), "will be so 
much the more divine, the more it tends to the common 
welfare." But what kind of charity is tending more to the 
common welfare than that which is bestowed upon such 
apostolic laborers as spend their life exclusively in labor 
ing for the salvation of souls ? Now this charity is divine 
in a most eminent degree, and consequently it makes all 
those divine who bestow it. They shall, without doubt, 
shine as the stars, nay, even as the sun, throughout all 
eternity : " Then the just shall shine as the sun in the 
kingdom of their Father " (Matt, xiii, 43) j and this glory 
and happiness of theirs in heaven will be in proportion to 
the zeal and fervor with which they have continued to 
furnish charitable aid to Jesus Christ in the persons of the 
ministers of the holy Catholic Church : " He that receiveth 
a prophet, shall have the reward of a prophet." He 
who receives a prophet, says our Lord, that is, he who 
gives charitable aid to a priest, will receive the reward of 
a priest. The reason of this is, because, by his charitable 
aid, he contributes toward the spreading of the Gospel j 
and therefore, as he thus shares in the labor and in the 
merits of the Gospel, he must also share in the reward 
promised to the true minister of God. Should you aid a 
man in performing sinful actions, you would become ac 
cessory to his sins. So, in like manner, by assisting the 
priests of God in performing good works for the salvation 
and sanctification of souls, you share in all their good works 
in their merits and in their rewards. " A willow-tree," 


says St. Gregory, " bears no fruit j but supporting, as it 
does, the vine together with its grapes, it makes these its 
own, by sustaining what is not its own." (Horn. 20, in 
Evang.) In like manner, he who supports the priest makes 
his own all those good works which are performed by the 
priest j that is to say, he preaches through the priest, he 
hears confessions through him, he converts sinners through 
him, he consoles the sick through him, he encourages the 
desperate through him, he confirms the just in their good 
resolutions through him ; in a word, he sanctifies the 
world through the priest, and is, through him, the cause 
that the most precious blood of Jesus Christ is not shed in 
vain ; and he gladdens, through him, the angels and saints 
in heaven, and especially the Sacred Hearts of Jesus Christ 
and the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

On this account, St. Ignatius, in his Epistle to the 
Smyrnians, rightly concludes, from the above sentence of 
Christ on the last day, that he who honors a prisoner of 
Christ will receive the reward of the martyrs j because 
by honoring such a prisoner, he encourages him to suffei 
martyrdom. For this reason, many Christians formerly 
merited the grace of martyrdom, because they encouraged, 
fed, served, and buried the martyrs. In like manner, we 
lawfully infer, from the above sentence of Christ, that 
those who receive and aid the priests of the Church, the 
pastors of souls, will receive the reward of pastors of souls, 
on condition, however, that the assistance which they give 
is offered with a cheerful heart. When God, in his bounty, 
vouchsafes to call you to cooperate in any of his works, 
he does not employ soldiers, or taxgatherers, or con 
stables, to collect the impost he accepts from you only 
a voluntary assistance. The Master of the universe 


repudiates constraint, for lie is the God of free souls ; he 
does not consent to receive anything which is not spon 
taneous, and offered with a cheerful heart. 

To conclude. The Catholic priest is the priest of the 
Lord of heaven and earth : it is impossible for you to 
conceive a higher dignity. The Catholic priest is the 
plenipotentiary of God : it is impossible for you to conceive 
a greater power. The Catholic priest is the minister of 
God : it is impossible for you to conceive an office more 
sublime and more important. The Catholic priest is the 
representative of God : it is impossible for you to conceive 
a higher commission. The Catholic priest is the vicegerent 
of God : it is impossible for you to conceive a higher 
merit. The Catholic priest is the treasurer of God : it is 
impossible for you to conceive a greater benefactor of man 
kind, a man worthier of your love and veneration, of your 
charity and liberality. 

May you, therefore, always receive the priest as the 
Galatians received St. Paul the Apostle : " You despised 
me not," writes this great apostle to the Galatians, " you did 
not reject me, but you received me as an angel of God, 
even as Christ Jesus. I bear you witness that, if it could be 
done, you would have plucked out your own eyes, and 
would have given them to me." (Gal. iv ? 14, 15.) 




The First Enemy: Heathenism ....-- 1 


The Second Enemy: Heresy ... ...- 12 


The Third Enemy: Freemasonry ----. 16 

1. The Object of Freemasonry- .... 16 
2. Lies of Freemasons .....22 

3. Ceremonies of one of the Degrees of Masonry - 33 

4. Another Specimen of Masonic Oath - - 65 

5. How the Oath is administered ------ 68 

6. The Obligations of the Masonic Oath ----- 68 

7. Address to the People of the State of New York 101 

8. Resolutions passed by the Antimasonic Convention - - 115 
^ 9. Proceedings of the Adjourned Convention of Seceding 

Masons ---------- 117 

10. The Prolific Mother of Freemasons: Protestantism - - 122 

11. The Masonic Hammer ....... 129 

12. Two Classes of Masons -.---. - - 136 

13. Success of the Masonic Hammer 140 

14. Secret Societies excommunicated by the Church - - 163 

15. The Church cannot be destroyed 168 
16. The Church cannot be, destroyed. (Continued.) _ 183 


How the Persecutors of the Church die k - - - 195 



THE story is told of a Western-bound train, flying along 
with lightning speed : the time was shortly after sunset. 
Suddenly a crash was heard : the train stopped. u What 
is the matter?" the passengers asked one another. A 
huge owl, dazzled by the glare, had struck against the 
reflector in front of the engine, shivered the glass, and 
tried to extinguish the light, and a great bull had set its 
head against the engine, to stop the train. The lamp 
was rekindled, the engine sped on, but the stupid owl and 
the obstinate bull were cast aside, dead, and left to rot, 
and be devoured by wild beasts. An Irishman, on seeing 
them, exclaimed: U I admire your courage, but condemn 
your judgment." 

This train may be likened to the holy Catholic Church, 
speeding on, on her heaven-sent mission, to lead men to 
heaven by the light of her holy doctrine. The foolish 
owl, the enemy of light and the friend of darkness, repre 
sents Lucifer, who, as the foe of God, and of the light of 
God s holy religion, has always been endeavoring to 
extinguish the light of the true religion. The bull re 
presents the kings and emperors, the heretics and members 
of secret societies, whom Lucifer uses to stop ? if possible, 


the progress of the ^Catholic Church, the bearer of the 
light of faith. Although it is hard, in a certain sense, not 
to admire the courage of Lucifer s agents, yet we .cannot 
but condemn their judgment, their folly and wickedness, 
in opposing the work of God, and bringing down upo^i 
themselves the everlasting curse of the Almighty. 

Satan has, indeed, been engaged, from the beginning of 
the world, in doing all in his power to entice men away 
from God, and to be himself worshipped, instead of the 
Creator. The introduction, establishment, persistence, 
and power of the various cruel, revolting superstitions of 
the ancient heathen world, or of pagan nations in modern 
times, are nothing but the work of the deVil. They reveal 
a more than human power. God permitted Satan to 
operate upon man s morbid nature, as a deserved punish 
ment upon the Gentiles for their hatred of truth, and their 
apostasy from the primitive religion of the holy patriarchs 
and prophets. Men, left to themselves, to human nature 
alone, however low they might be prone to descend, never 
could descend so low as to worship wood and stone, four- 
footed beasts, and creeping things. To do this needs 
Satanic delusion. 

Our Divine Saviour, Jesus Christ, came to break the 
power of the devil over mankind 5 he came to banish 
idolatry, the worship of the devil, from among men, and 
lead them back to the worship and service of his heavenly 
Father by his holy example and divine doctrine. But no 
sooner had he begun to teach men his saving doctrine, 
than Satan opposed him. Satan is called, in Holy Scrip 
ture, the father of lies. From the beginning of the world 
he has tried to misrepresent every religious truth. He 
practised this black art in paradise j and so unhappily 


successful was he in it, that ever since he has practised it, 
in order to propagate error and vice among men. When 
our Saviour began to preach his holy religion, Satan 
practised his black art, even in the presence of Christ 
himself. By malicious men, the ministers of Satan, Christ 
was contradicted and misrepresented in his doctrine ; for, 
instead of being believed, he was held up to the people as 
a blasphemer, for teaching that he was the Son of God, as 
the impious Caiphas declared him to be, saying, " He hath 
blasphemed ; he is guilty of death." (Matt, xxvi, 65.) 
He was misrepresented in his reputation, for he was noble, 
of royal lineage, and yet was despised. " Is not this the 
carpenter s son?" (Matt, xiii, 55.) He is wisdom itself, 
and was represented as an ignorant man : u How doth this 
man know letters, having never learned ? " (John vii, 17.) 
He was* represented as a false prophet: u And they blind 
folded him, and smote his face . . . saying : Prophesy 
who is this that struck thee?" (Luke xxii, 64.) He 
was represented as a madman : " He is mad, why hear 
you him 1 " (John x, 20.) He was represented as a wine- 
bibber, a glutton, and a friend of sinners : u Behold a man 
that is a glutton and a drinker of wine, a friend of publi 
cans and sinners." (Luke vii, 34.) He was represented 
as a sorcerer : " By the prince of the devils he casteth out 
devils." (Matt, ix, 34.) He was represented as a heretic 
and possessed person : " Do we not say well of thee, that 
thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? " (John viii, 48.) 
In a word, Jesus was represented to the people as so bad 
and notorious a man, that no trial was deemed necessary 
to condemn him, as the Jews said to Pilate : "If he were 
not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up to 
thee." (John xviii, 30.) If ever infamous calumny was 


earned to excess, it was undoubtedly in the case of our 
Saviour, " who knew not sin," who had never uttered a 
deceitful word, who " did all things well," and who " passed 
his life in doing good, and healing all kinds of infirmities." 
The reason why those malicious men misrepresented Christ 
to the multitude, reporting light to be darkness, and God 
to be the devil, was, that thus they might frighten the 
people from embracing the truth and following the Son of 
God. Christ permitted Satan s ministers to calumniate 
him in the worst manner, and to condemn him to the in 
famous death of the cross. They saw him die upon the 
cross ; they saw him buried, and thought that his doctrine 
would soon be forgotten. Their, malice seemed to have 
triumphed over Christ : and a triumph indeed there was 
but not for them for Christ and his Church. 

When winter buries nature in its icy tomb, it seems to 
celebrate a triumph over the beauty of nature. But, 
whilst nature sleeps in that tomb the silent, dreary sleep 
of death, gentle spring watches, and waits, and weeps, till 
at last a glad smile shines through her tears j and soon her 
tears are dried, for the grave is burst asunder, and nature 
rises and lives again, strong, and bright, arid beautiful. 
Thus, too, did the holy Church, the Spouse of Christ, 
kneel beside the tomb of her heavenly Bridegroom. Bear 
ing on her brow his royal seal, and in her hands his gifts 
of power, she watched beside his grave, and prayed, and 
wept. But soon her tears were dried, for Jesus rose, and 
lived again, strong, and bright, and beautiful, and her 
heart was filled with joy, and she was endowed anew with 
treasures of immortal life. Our Divine Saviour said, un 
less the grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it 
shall remain alone, it shall bear no fruit j but, if it die, 


then it shall bear fruit a hundred-fold. Such, he seems to 
say, is the brief history of my life on earth ; such is the 
history of my Spouse, my holy Church. Such, too, is 
the history of my faithful followers, in every age and in 
every clime. Always slandered, hated, persecuted, yet 
always victorious; always dying, yet ever living; cruci 
fied, buried in the grave, yet rising gloriously ; triumphing 
over death and hell, and bearing fruit a hundred-fold unto 
life everlasting. I was hated, persecuted, and put to 
death, because I taught truth, and public and private 
morality. My Church teaches the same. But Satan con 
stantly tempts the wicked to rebel against the truth, and 
therefore is she assailed, in every age, by the enemies of 
truth. Knowing this, I have declared that the lot of my 
followers in this world would for ever be one of persecu 
tion ; that wicked men would rise up in every age, thinking 
that to persecute and oppress God s people was to do God s 

" Beware of men. For they will deliver you up in 
councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. 
And you shall be brought before governors and before 
kings, for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the 
Gentiles. The brother shall deliver up the brother to 
death, and the father the son ; and the children shall rise 
up against their parents, and shall put them to death, and 
you shall be hated by all men, for my name s sake ; but he 
that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved." 
(Matt, x, 17-22.) "If you had been of the world, the 
world would love its own ; but because you are not of the 
world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember iny 
word that I said to you : The servant is not greater than 
his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also 


persecute you." (John xv, 19, 20.) "Yea, the hour 
cometh that, whosoever killeth you, will think that he 
doth a service to God." (John xvi, 2.) " And I say to you: 
Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that 
have no more that they can do. But fear ye him who, 
after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, 
I say to you, fear him." (Luke xii, 4, 5.) 

This prediction of our Lord has always come, and always 
will come, true. But, as Christ predicted the persecutions 
of his followers, so also did he foretell that they would 
conquer, as he conquered. The life of Christ was a 
transition from the deepest suffering to the loftiest triumph 
and glory. The Church, whose life is that of Christ, 
passes constantly from suffering to glory, and from glory 
back again to suffering, until at last her final triumph 
will come, when suffering shall be no more. Persecutions, 
therefore, though they must come, must end, and end in 
the triumph of the Church. 

No sooner had the apostles begun to announce the 
Gospel, than they met with the same treatment which 
their Divine Master had received. The people were 
stirred up against St. Stephen by misrepresentation, be 
cause they were told that " he had spoken blasphemous 
words against Moses and against God." (Acts vi, 11.) They 
were also stirred up against St. Paul, because they were told 
that he was " a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition 
amongst all the Jews throughout the world." (Acts xxiv, 5.) 
Neither did those calumnies, those wicked misrepresenta 
tions, stop here. Jesus Christ said : " The disciple is not 
above the master ; if they have called the master of the 
house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of 
the household ? " (Matt, x, 24.) 


In these words our Lord not only foretold what was to 
happea to his followers then present, but also to the 
faithful who were to come after them, and to his Church iu 
future ages ; so that, though they should be ever so just 
to God and their neighbor, upright in their ways, and 
live in the fear of God and the observance of his laws, 
yet must they be reviled and hated by the world, made 
a byword to the people, have the repute of seducers, 
and be a scandal to all nations. Has not this come true 
in all ages? See what was the state of Christians in the 
primitive times. Their lives were holy and pure, and 
yet it is almost impossible to believe in what contempt 
they were held. Tertullian tells us that, so malicious 
were the slanders scattered abroad concerning the 
manner of their worship, their whole religion being 
described not only to be mere folly and foppery, but also 
to be grounded on most hellish principles, and full of 
impieties, the heathens believed a man could not make 
profession of Christianity without being tainted with 
all sorts of crimes, without being an enemy to princes, 
to the laws, to good manners, and to nature itself. Thus 
the Christian religion was made wholly infamous amongst 
the heathens, was condemned and detested by the 
greater part, and most bloody persecutions were raised 
against the Christians, whilst they were guilty of no other 
crime than that of adhering to the truth. And those 
calumnies, those false accusations, were invented to cry 
down the Christian religion. Hence Tertullian was driven 
to write his " Apology," wherein he showed to the world 
that Christianity was nothing like what the heathens 
imagined it to be ; that idolatry, superstition, impiety, 
cruelty, treachery, conspiracy, arid all other crimes against 


nature and grace, were condemned and reprobated by 
their doctrine. He showed that these crimes were only 
the malicious inventions and reports of the heathen 
priests, who, being unable to withstand the force of 
the Christian religion, had no other way to preserve them 
selves in repute, and keep the people in their error, than 
by a hideous mask, an abominable scheme of religion, 
which holding forth to the world, they cried out : u This 
is the religion of Christians 5 these are their principles j 
behold their ignorance, their stupidity, their profaneness ; 
behold their insolence, their villanies, a people insuffer 
able in a commonwealth, enemies to their country and 
their prince ! 7? Thus, representing the Christian religion 
as utterly monstrous, they brought odium upon as many 
as owned the Christian name, and condemned them for 
follies and crimes that existed nowhere, except in their 
wicked imagination. Edicts breathing destruction against 
the Christians, and those who believed in their doctrine, 
were published, Christians were seized, executioners were 
fatigued with the work of death, and the most barbarous 
tortures were devised, to banish Christianity from the 
face of the earth. Torments, which only hell could have 
inspired, were employed to strike terror into the hearts of 
the Christians. They were nailed to the cross, they were 
thrown to wild beasts, they were besmeared with pitch, 
tied to stakes, and then set on fire, to light up the streets 
of pagan Rome. But their courage rose with their suffer 
ings. With a holy enthusiasm they showed themselves 
before the tyrants, and boldly confessed the name of Je sus ; 
mothers caught up their little babes from the cradle, and, 
)earing them in their arms before the heathen judgos, 
they cried aloud, u We are Christians, we will die for 


Christ." The bridegroom and the bride put on their 
festal robes, and hastened together to the scene of death. 
United in heart, united in faith, they wished to be united 
also in death, and to enter together to the marriage feast 
of the Lamb. 

Manly warriors cast aside their arms, and gave their 
lives for Christ. Tender, noble virgins hastened joyfully 
to die for their bridegroom, Jesus. So great was the havoc 
wrought by these early persecutions among the children 
of the Church, that her martyrs alone amount to thirty 
thousand for every day in the year, martyrs whose blood, 
as a holy pontiff remarks, was like the chosen seed, 
which perishes only to produce fruits a hundred-fold. 

The Church was crushed. Her tyrant oppressors re 
joiced that she was annihilated. But the virgin was not 
dead, she was only sleeping. The grain of wheat was cast 
into the ground ; it was dead, apparently, but it soon took 
root, rose again, fresh and vigorous, and brought forth fruit 
a hundred-fold. The blood of the martyrs became the 
seed of new Christians ; the pagan tyrant cut down a 
single blade of wheat, and a hundred others sprung up in 
its stead ; and where Christianity seemed utterly destroyed, 
there it soon celebrated a glorious triumph. 

The Catholic Church arose from the grave 5 she came 
forth from the catacombs, strong and beautiful as ever, 
wearing on her brow the diadem of a spiritual empire, 
that shall never fail till the very elements dissolve and 
disappear. She spoke, and at her heavenly voice the 
Jew laid aside his national pride, and embraced the Gen 
tile as a brother, lie gave up his fond hope of an earthly 
Messiah and an earthly kingdom, and bent the knee before 
that very Jesus whom he had crucified. The Greek 


abandoned his halls, his academies, and his worldly wis 
dom, to become the disciple of the fishermen of Galilee, and 
to learn from them how to be "a fool" for Christ s sake. 
The Roman turned his back upon the Capitol, and received, 
with the docility of 11 child, the doctrine of humility and 
peace to all men. The heathen rejected his false gods, 
the gods he had inherited from his forefathers, that allowed 
him to gratify every selfish desire of his heart j he em 
braced the religion of the cross, the religion of purity, of 
self-denial, of unbounded charity. The cross, the sym 
bol of Christ s kingdom, soon rose triumphantly over the 
cities of Antioch and Alexandria. The cross towered 
above Athens, the proud seat of worldly wisdom. The 
cross shone brightly over sensual Corinth j and the prince 
of the apostles bore the cross to Rome, and planted it 
beside the throne of the Caesars. Proud Rome, so long 
drunk with the blood of the martyrs, at length bowed her 
haughty neck to the sweet yoke of Jesus, and the Roman 
Csesars laid down their glittering crown and sceptre, as 
an humble offering, at the foot of the cross. 

Christianity spread with all the swiftness of divine 
truth. It soon passed beyond the uttermost ends of the 
far-extended Roman empire, so that Tertullian could say, 
with truth, that nearly all the nations of the then known 
world were united in one religion, the religion of the 

Constantine the Great fought, before the walls of Rome, 
the battle which was to decide for ever the fate of pagan 
ism. Constantine knew that his enemy, Maxentius, was far 
superior in numbers, and he felt that no graven image of 
stone or wood could help him in his hour of need. He, 
therefore, turned his heart to the living and mighty God. 


He called upon the God of the Christians, of whose 
charity and goodness he had heard so much ; and God 
rewarded his confidence, and granted his prayer. A 
blazing cross appeared in the heavens, surrounded by 
the inscription, En touto nika : tl In this sign thou shalt 
conquer." Constantine obeyed the voice of God. He 
struck off the Roman eagle, and raised, in its stead, the 
holy cross. As the morning sun arose, its rays fell upon 
the golden eagle, the symbol of pagan Rome, but, opposed 
to it, glittered, for the first time, the cross, the standard 
of victory ; and before that day s sun had set, paganism 
was vanquished, Christianity triumphant, and Constan 
tine bore the blazing cross, in triumph, through the open 
gates of Rome, to plant it upon the Capitol of the Csesars. 
Thus the Roman persecutions ended in the crushing of 
the blind owl and bull, the pagan power, and the sup 
planting of it by a Christian empire. 



ONE enemy is overcome, but the Church is doomed 
still to suffer, still to triumph. She has escaped from 
open enemies ; she must now suffer from false friends, 
from apostate Catholics. Arius denied the divinity of 
Christ ; Macedonius, the divinity of the Holy Ghost j 
Nestorius refused to the Blessed Virgin the title of the 
Mother of God ; Pelagius denied the necessity of divine 
grace : heretic after heretic came to strike a deadly blow 
at the Church. They often succeeded in gaining the 
favor of monarchs, under whose protection they most 
barbarously persecuted the faithful. They took up the 
calumnies which had been invented by the heathens. 
No one ever left the Church without trying to make her 
infamous, and blacken her with such crimes as were best 
calculated to make her hateful to all. To justify their 
apostasy from the faith, and gain to themselves the 
character of orthodox Christians, apostates have invariably 
painted the Church in all possible antichristian colors, 
and represented her as evil as wickedness could desire to 
make her. 

St. Augustine tells us that the Manichees and Donatists 
did all in their power to raise prejudices in the minds of 
the people against the Roman Catholic Church. They 


told men that the teaching of the Church was unsound 
and profane doctrine, that it was full of wicked principles 
and human inventions, instead of divine faith : and all 
these calumnies were spread abroad among the people, in 
order that they might not think of going to the Church to 
learn the truth, or even suspect her to be the Church of 
Christ. " The chief reason," says St. Augustine, a why 
I continued to live so long in the errors of the Manichees, 
and impugned the Catholic Church with so much violence, 
was, because I thought that all I had heard against the 
Church was true. But when I found out that it was all 
false, I made known this falsehood to the world, in order 
to undeceive others who were caught in the same snare. 
I mingled joys and blushes, and was ashamed that I had 
now for so many years been barking and railing, not 
against the Catholic faith, but only against the fictions of 
my carnal conceits. For, so rash and impious was I, that 
those things which I might first have learned from Cath 
olics by inquiry, I charged upon them by accusation. I 
was readier to impose falsehood than to be informed of 
the truth." This he did, deluded and deceived by the 
Manichees. Alas! this has not been the case of St. 
Augustine alone, but of almost as many as have given ear 
to the deserters of this Church j nay, it is at this very 
day the case of infinite numbers of Protestants and infidels, 
who, following St. Augustine in his errors, do not inquire 
how this thing is believed or understood by the Church, 
but insultingly oppose all, as if understood as they imagine. 
They make no difference between that which the Catholic 
Church teaches, and what they think she teaches. Thus 
they believe her guilty of as many absurdities, follies, and 
impieties, as the heathens did of old. 


But, as the Almighty rules and shapes every seeming 
disaster to the good of his Church, every heresy broached 
by the pride or infidelity of men brought out defenders 
of the truth. Against Arianism God raised up Athanasius 
. and St. Hilary of Poictiers ; to oppose the Nestorians, came 
St. Cyril ; St. Augustine beat down the Pelagians. In the 
noble works which the fathers of the early centuries of 
Christianity wrote to defend the doctrines of the Church 
against their assailants, they unanimously lay down this 
clear principle, that " such doctrine is truly Catholic as has 
been believed in all places, at all times, and by all the 
faithful." By this test of universality, antiquity, and 
consent, the Church tries, especially in her general coun 
cils, all questions concerning faith and morals, condemns 
and rejects all variations from this belief, and thus always 
triumphs over heresy and infidelity. The popes convoked 
several general councils : at Nice, 325, at Ephesus, 431, 
and at other place and times, wherein the doctrines of 
the Arians, Nestorians, and other heretics, were solemnly 
condemned and rejected. Each sucessive heresy lasted 
only for a time. The Nestorians, the Eutychians, and 
others, have long since been forgotten. Their creeds were 
the work of man, and as such they were mortal. Tho truth 
of the Catholic Church triumphed over them all. 

Like the vast and universal arch of heaven, the Church 
over-canopies alike all Christian climes and ages j and, like 
that arch, she is one, unbroken, wheresoever she appears. 
Sectarian systems are the dark and shifting vapors that 
obscure the surface of the heavens ; and their ever-vary 
ing masses are drifted into numberless fantistic forms by 
every passing gale, "by every wind of doctrine," as St. 
Paul expresses it. Cloud of heresy after c oud of heresy 


has fallen in rain, or disappeared in the boundless fields 
of ether, u they were and are not," whilst other vapors 
occupy their place as fleeting and as unsubstantial f but 
the arch still stands, for the sacred word of everlasting truth 
is pledged for its perpetual stability. 

Yes, the Church still stands. She speeds on, on her 
heaven-sent mission, conquering and to conquer. Having 
triumphed over two great enemies, heathenism and heresy, 
she has now to win another triumph, the triumph over 
secret societies. 



1. The Object of Freemasonry. 

THE state of irreligion and infidelity in which the 
greater part of mankind are plunged at the present day, 
is but the work of Satan.. How could men, without Satanic 
delusion, be impious enough to make liars of Jesus Christ, 
of the Holy Ghost, of the apostles ; to blaspheme the 
Mother of God, and God s saints , to slander the Spouse 
of Jesus Christ, the Roman Catholic Church, in every 
possible manner j nay, even to deny the existence of 
Almighty God? They could not fall so low, without 
diabolical influence. And the great bull which Satan has 
raised to destroy, if possible, the Catholic Church, and to 
introduce heathenism again in her stead, is Freemasonry. 

In the year 1440, the Gnostic sects, the Manicheans, 
the Cabalists, and the Brethren of John, united and formed 
the present Order of Freemasonry. They bound them 
selves to wage war against the Church of Christ, which 
was making such extraordinary progress, and to maintain 
and restore heathenism. The Freemasons maintain that 
the ancient heathen church, with its symbols and mys 
teries, is the primitive church of mankind ; that the 
Mosaic religion, the religion of Jehovah, was (inly a local 
and national modification of this heathen church ; and, 
consequently, that Christ is only a rebel against the true 
Church of God, 


The most hidden, the fundamental, secret of the ancient 
heathen church was the utter denial of the existence of 
God and of the spirit-world, and the assertion of the 
grossest materialism j so that man, being the most cunning 
f of creatures, should rule the animals, that the most cun 
ning man should rule his fellow-men, and, by religious 
superstitions, and knavery, and force, should at last 
become the God of his fellow-men. The object of 
Freemasonry, then, is to restore the ancient Church of 
heathenism j to elevate heathenism to a universal politico- 
religious power, and to require and establish a com 
munity of goods. 

To attain this object, society must be remodelled j that 
is, be broken to pieces, and then put together again, 
according to Masonic ideas and principles. Hence the 
entire symbolism of Freemasonry is taken from architec 
ture. To destroy an old building properly, you tear down 
one piece after the other. In like manner, the new build 
ing is erected piece by piece. This is precisely the 
manner of acting of our modern Freemasons. 

The Grand Master has the hammer 9 in order to pre 
pare the rising generation slowly by laws which exclude 
religion from, schools, or demand compulsory education, 
forcing the children to go to these schools, under pretence 
of the evils of ignorance, but, in reality, to bring them up 
without religion ; to destroy the family, by making them 
simply the children and slaves of the State, to be taken 
from their parents, fed, clothed, schooled, and utterly 
possessed by the State. They, therefore, condemn Catholic 
and religious schools, tax church property, schools, asy 
lums, hospitals, and similar institutions, thus trying to 
undermine gradually and to destroy every vestige of 


Christianity, and to erect, in its stead, a universal politico- 
religious heathen church, possessing a complete commun 
ity of goods. Hence the Grand Master has also the sword. 
When all things are ripe, war must be declared against 
the Catholic Church. Therefore, Freemasons keep secret 
the object and true history of their order, until they are 
strong enough to be sure of success, Then will they 
throw off the mask, and creep forth from the slime and 
darkness. Indeed their leaders have declared their inten 
tion often enough already, on the eve of revolutions which 
they thought would succeed in bringing about the object 
of their desires, and their final triumph in the world. 

Hence the Warden, called Brother Truth, of the Knights 
Adepts of the Eagle or Sun, says to the candidate : 

u If you ask me what are the requisite qualities that 
a Mason must be possessed of, to come to the centre of 
truth, I answer you, that you must crush the head of the 
serpent of ignorance. You must shake off the yoke of 
infant prejudice concerning the mysteries of the reigning 
religion, which worship has been imaginary, and only 
founded on the spirit of pride, which envies to command, 
and be distinguished, and to be at the head of the vulgar ; 
in affecting an exterior purity, which characterizes a 
false piety, joined to a desire of acquiring that which is 
not its own, and is always the subject of this exterior 
pride, and the unalterable source of many disorders ; which, 
being joined to gluttonness, is the daughter of hypocrisy, 
and employs every matter to satisfy carnal desires, and 
raises to these predominant passions altars, upo n which 
she maintains, without ceasing, the light of iniquity, and 
sacrifices continually offerings of luxury, voluptuousness, 
hatred, envy, and perjury. Behold, my dear brother, 


what you must fight against and destroy, before you can 
come to the knowledge of the true good and sovereign 
happiness ! Behold this monster which you must conquer, 
a serpent which we detest as an idol, that is adored by 
the idiot and vulgar, under the name of Religion. Here 
the Christian beholds Christ rejected, himself charged 
with the basest crimes, condemned as an idiot, his wor 
ship imaginary, his religion founded on the spirit of pride, 
the daughter of hypocrisy, a serpent, a monster, an idol, 
detested by Masonry." (From li Light on Masonry," 
published by David Bernard, 1829.) 

" There is," says Pius VII, " no necessity for conjec 
tures, nor even for argument, to arrive at the judgment 
which we have enunciated (against secret societies). Their 
printed books, which describe the observances practised 
at the meetings of their higher grades ; their catechisms, 
their statutes, and the other authentic documents of a 
very grave character j the testimony of their own mem- 
bers, who have left the society and revealed to the magis 
trates all their errors and frauds, all these prove that 
the Carbonari (which term comprises all the secret 
societies) have for their principal end to bring about an 
indifference in matters of religion, and to induce every one 
to exercise a license in framing for himself a religion by 
his own genius, and consisting of his own opinions the 
most pernicious error which it is possible to conceive to 
profane and pollute the passion of Jesus Christ by certain 
wicked ceremonies of their own ; to cast contempt on the 
sacraments of the Church and the mysteries of the Catholic 
religion, by substituting for them (most horrible sacrilege ! ) 
other new ones, invented by themselves ; and to overturn 
this Apostolic See, against which ; because of the primacy 


which, as St. Augustine says, it has always possessed, 
they entertain a peculiar hatred, and contrive the most 
baneful and pernicious plots. 

" Nor are the moral precepts taught by the Society of 
the Carbonari (as shown by the same documents) less 
nefarious, although they vaunt themselves, with a most 
confident air, that they exact from their followers the 
practice of charity, and of every kind of virtue, and a care 
ful abstinence from every species of vice. That society, 
then, impudently encourages lustful pleasures, and teaches 
that it is lawful to kill those who have violated the secret 
o^th which we have mentioned above. And, although 
Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, commanded that Chris 
tians should be subject, for God s sake, to every man, 
whether to the king, as supreme, or to rulers, as appointed 
by him, etc. ; and although the Apostle Paul enjoins that 
( every soul should be subject to the higher powers/ etc., 
yet that society teaches that it is right to excite seditions, 
and thus to hurl from power kings and all other rulers, 
whom they dare, over and over again, to call by the insult 
ing name of tyrants. ... 

"It must not be imagined that all these evils, and many 
others also, which we have not mentioned, are falsely and 
calumniously attributed to these clandestine sects. The 
books which their members have dared to write about 
religion and about the State, show us that they spurn the 
authority of religion and of political rulers ; that they 
blaspheme majesty ; that they are never tired of calling 
Christ a scandal J or a folly ; nay, they not unfre- 
quently assert that there is no God, and that the soul of 
a man dies, and comes to nothing with his body. Their 
documents and statutes, in which they explain their pur- 


poses and give minutes of their meetings for consultation, 
clearly prove all that we have mentioned of their endeavors 
to overturn legitimate rulers and entirely destroy the 
Church, and avow that all such attempts which have 
occurred in the world have proceeded from them. More 
over, from these sources it is proved, beyond doubt, that 
all the clandestine sects, although they differ in name, are 
yet intimately connected in the bond of their most impious 
counsels." (" Ecdesiam a Jesu Christo" September 13, 

What Pius VII has said of secret societies, is confirmed 
by Pius IX in his Allocution, addressed to the Cardinals 
of the Holy Roman Church, March 12, 1877. He says: 

tl The seventh year is already upon us since the in 
vaders of our civil principality, riding roughshod over 
every right, human and divine, breaking faith in solemn 
compacts, and taking advantage of the misfortunes of an 
illustrious Catholic nation, by violence and force of arms 
occupied the provinces still remaining in our power, tak 
ing possession of this Holy City, and, by this act of 
sovereign iniquity, overwhelming the entire Church with 
grief and mourning. The false and worthless promises 
which, in those woful days, they made to foreign govern 
ments concerning our dearest interests, by declaring that 
they desired to pay homage and honor to the freedom 
of the Church, and that they intended that the power of 
the Roman Pontiff should remain free and unabridged. 
these promises did not succeed in beguiling us into vain 
hopes, and did not prevent us, from that very moment, 
from fully realizing all the tribulations and afflictions that 
awaited us under their dominion. On the contrary, fully 
aware of the impious designs entertained by men who are 


leagued together by a fondness for modern innovations, 
and by a criminal oath, we at once openly proclaimed that 
this sacrilegious invasion was not intended so much to 
oppress our civil principality as it was to undermine, all 
the more readily, through the oppression of our temporal 
power, all the institutions of the Church, to overthrow the 
authority of the Holy See, and to utterly destroy the 
power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, which, all unworthy 
as we are, we exercise here on earth. " 

2. Lies of Freemasons. 

In order to conceal the real object of the order, not 
only from the profane world, but also from eleven out of 
twelve Freemasons, for it takes a great deal of wicked 
ness and hardness of heart in a man not to be shocked at 
such declarations as the one quoted above, they tell the 
following lies : 

First. Freemasonry does not meddle in politics or re 
ligion : it is a purely benevolent society. 

Second. Freemasonry is strictly loyal, and obeys the 
laws of the State. 

This is proved. : 

1. By the statutes of the order. 

2. By the number of kings and princes who deem it 
an honor to be members and protectors of the order. 

3. The accusations against Masonry are false and 

These are all infamous lies. As to the statutes of the 
order, it is true that the Freemasons have statutes for 
kings and princes, as well as for the lower grades and the 
outer world, statutes which are all very innocent and 
beautiful j but it is also true that they have statutes of 


another kind for the confidential brethren. In fact every 
member is bound by a terrible oath, and under penalty 
of death, not to reveal to outsiders, or to the government, 
the real object and the real plans of the order. Did you 
ever hear of a society of burglars that would disclose to 
the authorities the real object and the real plans of their 
society ? 

Freemasons declare that their " public statutes are the 
only ones, 7 and to these statutes the significant words are 
added : " You must carefully observe all these obligations, 
as well as those that shall be taught you in a manner that 
cannot be described." (Eckert, p. 20, " Mystcrien Gesell- 
schaften der Heidenkirche. ") It is, moreover, a notorious 
fact that, in every degree of Freemasonry, a new oath is 
required ; in nearly every degree a new object of Free 
masonry is taught, and the object and obligation of the 
preceding grade are declared to be but a pious fraud. 

The order existed for centuries before, its pretended 
object was made public. It was only at Wilhelmsbad that 
the object of the order was declared to be, " benevolence, 
in a Masonic sense." The object of Freemasonry is to 
benefit mankind j therefore, whatever furthers the inter 
ests of Freemasonry, furthers the interests of mankind. 

"The object of Freemasonry is to heal all the evils in 
society that flow from differences of nationality, differences 
in the stations of life, and differences in religion. Nature 
has made us all beings of one species, citizens of one 
world, owners of one earth, and children of one mother, 
and in this alone consider all our greatness." ("Wiener 
Journal MSS. fur Brtider" Eckert, 21.) 

" Freemasonry also acts the part of a friend, and strives, 
with restless energy, to procure the welfare of a worthy 


brother 5 and, if unable to help him herself, she uses all 
the resources of her eloquence to induce the great and 
p n werful to promote the temporal welfare of her friends j 
that is, to procure them lucrative offices in the govern 
ment." (Eckert, 23.) 

At first sight such principles seem to be true, and the 
people in general will accept them. Experience teaches 
that the public will accept, without question, almost any 
maxim or problem, provided it be formulated in such a 
manner as to convey some specific meaning that does not 
demand reflection or complex examination. For the same 
reason no small portion of the public will reject anything 
that at first sight seems to exceed the measure of their 
understanding. Knaves and charlatans, knowing this, 
impose on the public, by flattering their intelligence, that 
they may accomplish their own ambitious and selfish ends. 
In this way it is that, by the Masonic teaching, a multi 
tude of pernicious maxims have come into vogue, as well 
in reference to religion, society, and politics, as also to the 
object of Freemasonry. Their plea, that they want all 
men to be virtuous, a to have faith in God, hope and 
charity," and that they insist on the necessity "of temper 
ance, fortitude," etc., will not serve. These virtues, in 
Freemasonic theology, are all natural virtues, which reason 
and Christian faith alike declare to be insufficient, without 
the supernatural virtues, to work out the salv r ation of men s 
souls, or to keep civil society in proper order. Free 
masonry substitutes the natural virtue of philanthropy for 
that of Christian charity. Consequently, it is opposed to 
Christianity. It is always really, even if not positively, 
hostile to the Church. It ignores her existence, and that 
of revelation. It is also opposed to the law of nature, for 


it substitutes a factitious fraternity for real brotherhood. 
Thus, according to the Freemasonic code, a Freemason is 
nearer to another Freemason than to his own wife or 
child. This is contrary to nature. 

What virtue can we expect in a man, or in a body of 
men, without religion? Such men are, indeed, the slaves 
of the most shameful passions. What virtue can those 
have who believe that whatever they desire is lawful ; who 
designate the most shameful crimes by the name of innocent 
pleasures ? What virtue can those have who know no 
other law than their passions j who believe that truth and 
falsehood, vice and virtue, are all the same ? They may, 
indeed, practise some natural virtues, but these virtues 
are, in general, only exterior. They are practised merely 
out of human respect : they do not come from the heart. 
But the seat of true virtue is in the heart, and not in 
the exterior : he that acts merely to please man, and not 
to please God, has no real virtue. 

What confidence can be placed in a man, or in a body 
of men, who have no religion, and, consequently, no know 
ledge of their duties? What confidence can we place in 
men who never feel themselves bound by any obligation 
of conscience, who have no higher motives to direct them 
than their self-love, their own interests ? The pagan 
Eoman, though enlightened only by reason, had yet virtue 
enough to say, " I live, not for myself, but for the republic ;" 
but the infidel s motto is : "I live only for myself; I care 
for no one but myself." How can such a man reconcile 
tl poverty and wealth," " labor and ease," u sickness and 
health," " adversity and prosperity," " rich and poor," 
"obedience and authority," "liberty and law," etc., etc.! 
All these are enigmas to him, or, if he affects to under 


stand them at all, he thinks they arise from bad management 
or bad government. He will be a tyrant or a slave, a 
glutton or a miser, a fanatic or a libertine, a thief or a 
highway robber, as circumstances may influence him. Can 
we think that the common a fall-back 7 on the principle of 
self-interest, well or ill understood, will ever restrain such 
a one from doing any act of impulse or indulgence, provided 
he thinks it can be safely done ? He will look on life as 
a game of address or force, in which the best man is he 
who carries off the prize. 

He will look upon power as belonging, of right, to the 
strongest ; the weak, or those who differ from him in 
opinion, he will treat with contempt and cruelty, and wW 
think that they have no rights which he is bound t 
respect. In power, such a man will be arbitrary and cruel 5 
out of power, he will be faithless, hypocritical, and sub 
servient. Trust him with authority, he will abuse it j 
trust him with money, he will steal it ; trust him with your 
confidence, and he will betray it. Such a man, pagan and 
unprincipled as he is, may, nevertheless, affect, when it 
suits his purpose, great religious zeal and purity. He will 
talk of philanthropy and the humanities, have great com 
passion, perhaps, fora dray-horse, and give the cold 
shoulder to the houseless pauper or orphan. 

The heart of such a man is cold, insincere, destitute of 
every tender chord for a tender vibration, of every particle 
of right or just feeling or principle that can be touched j 
on the contrary, it is roused to rage, revenge, and false 
hood, if interfered with. How is such a heart to be touched 
or moved, or placed under such influences as could move 
it f Indeed, it would require a miracle. Nay, even a 
miracle would fail to make a salutary impression upon 


such a heart. A French infidel declared that, should he 
be told that the most remarkable miracle was occurring 
close by his house, he would not move a step out of his way 
to see it. Pride never surrenders 5 it prefers rather to 
take an illogical position, than to bow even to the authority 
of reason. Furious, beside itself, and absurd, it revolts 
against evidence. To all reasoning, to undeniable evi 
dence, the infidel, the man without religion, opposes 
his own will : " Such is my determination." It is sweet to 
him to be stronger, single-handed, than common-sense, 
stronger than miracles, stronger even than God, who mani 
fests himself by them. 

Such a man may be called civilized, but he is only an 
accomplished barbarian. His head and hands are in 
structed; his heart, and low passions, and appetites, are 
unbridled and untamed. 

Collot d Herbois, a Freemason, played the most execra 
ble part during the French Revolution. Having become 
a representative of the people under the Reign of Terror, 
he had the Lyonnese massacred in hundreds. The very 
accomplices of his crimes regarded him as a man so 
dangerous, that they thought it expedient to exclude him 
from society, by banishing him to the deserts of Guiana. 
Transported to that tropical country, he looked upon 
himself as the most miserable of men. " I am punished," 
would he sometimes exclaim : " the abandonment in which 
I find myself is a hell." Being attacked by a malignant 
fever, he was to be taken to Cayenne. The negroes, 
charged with this commission, threw him on the public 
road, with his face turned to the scorching sun. They 
said, in their own language : " We will not carry that 
murderer of religion and of men." " What is the matter 


with you ? " asked the doctor, Guysonf, when he arrived 
"I have a burning fever and perspiration." "I believe 
it: you are sweating crime." He called on God and the 
Blessed Virgin to assist him. A soldier, to whom he had 
preached irreligion, asked him why he invoked God and 
the Bles&ed Virgin, he who mocked them some months 
before. "Ah! my friend/ said he, "my mouth then 
belied my heart." He then cried out : " my God, my 
God ! can I yet hope for pardon ? Send me a consoler, send 
me a priest, to turn mine eyes away from the furnace that 
consumes me. My God, give me peace ! " The spectacle 
of his last moments was so frightful, that no one could 
remain near him. Whilst they were seeking a priest he 
expired, on the 7th of June, 1796, his eyes half open, 
his hands clenched, his mouth full of blood and froth. His 
burial was so neglected, that the negro gravediggers only 
half covered him, and his body became the food for swine 
and birds of prey. (Debussi, Nouveau Mois de Marie, 251.) 
Almost every word of the Masonic sect is a sophistical, 
double-tongued falsehood. The words of Holy Scripture 
apply to them : " Wo to them that are of a double heart, 
and to the wicked lips and to the hands that do evil, and 
to the sinner that goeth on the earth two ways. " (Ecclus. 
ii, 14.) " The words of their mouth are iniquity and guile." 
(Ps. xxxv, 4.) " Wo to the sinful nation, a people laden 
with iniquity, a wicked seed : they have forsaken the 
Lord. . . . They increase transgression. The whole head 
is sick. From the sole of the foot unto the top of the 
head, there is no soundness therein." (Isa. i, 4-6.) The 
real secret and true business of the Order is never discussed 
in the r.egular lodges, but in the private club-room, from 
which even the kings and princes who are said to be 


members and protectors of Freemasonry, are excluded : 
only the confidential and trustworthy brethren are ad 
mitted, and of what is discussed here, nothing is written. 
Those kings and princes receive, indeed, high-sounding 
titles, and whenever they visit the lodges, they hear only 
what pleases and flatters them. 

The secret writings of Freemasonry speak with the 
utmost contempt and sarcasm of these " titles and honors." 
" The Fundamental Constitution of Freemasonry," p. 300, 
says : u If men of high rank wish to enter the society, they 
must be received with the utmost respect, for such persons 
often become good builders, who will not use strangers 
when they can have true Masons. They also make the best 
officials of the lodge, and the lodges may choose one of them 
as Noble Grand Master. These brethren are likewise 
subject to the rules and obligations, except such as belong 
immediately to the working Masons" The meaning of 
these words is plain enough. The Carbonari and the 
Illuminati also made use of nobles and princes to be their 
protectors and their tools. 

The Freemasons say that they are strictly loyal, and 
obey the laws of the State. This, again, is false. All power 
is from God. Now God has established in the world only 
two societies, which are independent and supreme, the 
civil and the ecclesiastical ; in other words, the Church 
and the State. We say that these two societies are inde 
pendent and supreme in their separate spheres, the natural, 
of course, being subservient to the supernatural ; therefore 
all other societies that claim for themselves an independent 
existence which are not subject, directly or indirectly, 
to either of these powers established by God, or which 
deny their authority or evade their control, must be ? in 


their nature, anomalous, unnatural, opposed to the order of 
God s providence, unauthorized, and wrong. All societies 
existing independently of the Church and the State, the 
workings of which are not subject to the supervision and 
control of the Church or the State, are secret societies, 
and are condemned by the Catholic Church. 

The wisdom of the Church is easily seen in this de 
cision, which, at first sight, may appear harsh. For, in 
the bosom of civil society, it cannot be good to have bodies 
regularly and independently organized, and exercising 
legislative, judicial, coercive, and executive power over 
themselves and others. Such bodies are supreme and 
independent societies, not in connection with, or in sub 
ordination, but in opposition, to both the authority of the 
State in the natural, and the authority of the Church in 
the supernatural, order. 

It is easy to see from this hovr monstrous is the assump 
tion of these societies, and how dangerous they may become 
to the State, and to society in general. In their origin, 
means, and end, they are opposed to the two great author 
ities constituted by God. The very fact of their inde 
pendence proves this opposition, for, were they not opposed, 
they would be subservient. 

In Prussia, the Masons have a secret priesthood, in direct 
violation of the Prussian laws. In Saxony, the laws forbid 
the existence of any political society or assembly, except 
under the surveillance of the police, as also any connection 
with foreign political societies. To escape the law, 
Freemasons pretend that their order meddles neither in 
religion nor in politics, and yet it has brought about the 
so-called "Reformation," and the fall of Napoleon, and 
other m6narchs, in our own time. They receive monarchs 


and princes as the instruments of their diabolical purpose. 
Hence Leo XII says: " Those sects must be repressed. 
For the cause of religion is, especially in these times, so 
bound up with the stability of society, that in no way 
can the one be sundered from the other. For all that 
belong to those secret societies, dearly beloved Catholic 
princes and sons in Jesus Christ, are the enemies, not 
less of your authority, than of religion also. They are 
making an attack upon both ; they are plotting to over 
turn both from their foundations, and, if they prove able, 
they will, for a certainty, not permit either any religion or 
any royal power to exist. So great is the cunning and 
astuteness of these men, that, when they appear most bent 
on extending your power, then they are most busy in 
contriving its total overthrow. They give you very 
many reasons to persuade those who have in their hands 
the administration of affairs, that our power and that of 
the bishops should be curtailed and weakened j and that 
many of the rights which belong to this See, and those 
which belong to the bishops who participate in our cares, 
should be transferred to those secular rulers. This they 
do, not only from that most bitter hatred which they bear 
to all religion, but also from a cunning scheme, hoping 
that the peoples who are subject to your authority, when 
they see those restraints abolished, which were imposed 
by Christ and by the Church which he established, will 
be the more easily induced, with such an example before 
their eyes, to change, or even destroy, the form of political 
government." (Quo Gravior, March 13, 1826.) 

The Freemasons, in any one country, also say that they 
have no connection with the Freemasons of other lands. 
This assertion is another lie. 


The unity of Freemasonry all over the world is a 
notorious fact, which is everywhere the great boast of Free 
masonry. " The Grand Lodge of Saxony is (1859) only a 
provincial lodge of Germany, and is subject to the 
Grand Master of Germany, who resides at Berlin. The 
Masonic lodge of Saxony has its representatives in the 
Berlin lodge, and corresponds with nearly all the grand 
lodges of Europe and America" (Eckert, 28), and even 
has lately (1859) placed itself under the protection of the 
Prince Regent of Prussia ! 

This same loyalty of Freemasonry is shown every 
where. On the 14th of January, 1739, Freemasonry 
was excommunicated by a Papal Bull, and in Austria 
and Bavaria the order was suppressed. The members, 
however, submitted neither to the decrees of the Church, 
nor to those of the State. u The History of Freemasonry, 7 
by Lawrie, published by the order and authority of the 
Grand Lodge of Scotland, says : 

11 Several respectable Masons in Germany, though 
staunch friends of the Romish Church, were highly 
displeased at this condemnation of the order, and resolved 
to save it from entire destruction. They therefore founded 
a society having the same object and the same principles 
as Freemasonry. The members were called Mopse (young 
bulldogs), as they regarded the bulldog as an emblem of 
fidelity and brotherly love." * 

To hide, however, the mysteries of Freemasonry from 
those of the new society who were not Masons, they 
left out of their ritual all words, signs, and ceremonies 

* In reality, by the bulldog, these blasphemous men wished to repre 
sent our Holy Father, the Pope ; and in mockery of the pope, they used 
to perform a ceremony too filthy to be here described. 


of Freemasonry. Moreover, to avoid the persecution of 
the Roman Catholic Church, they modified all those parts 
of the institute which might scandalize the narrow-minded 
and superstitious. The members, therefore, instead of 
taking an oath, bound themselves, by their word of honor, 
that they would never divulge anything of the mysteries 
and ceremonies of the order. 

Women were also admitted, and were permitted to fill 
every office, except that of Grand Master. The society 
was protected by some of the most respectable men in 
Germany. The most prominent state officials, and even 
royal princes, were members. The admission of Protest 
ants or heretics to the lodges in Catholic countries gave 
great offence to the Roman Catholics. The Mopse, there 
fore, resolved to initiate no one into their mysteries who 
was not a professed staunch friend of the Church. " This, 
however, was a mere blind to deceive His Holiness, for they 
received into their order, without the least scruple, men of 
every land and every religion." (Eckert, 36.) 

Freemasonry, like Proteus in the fable, knows how to 
multiply, ad infinitum, its transformations and its names. 
Yesterday it called itself " Les Solidaires," or " Morality, 
independent of religion," or "Freedom of thought ;" to 
day it takes the title of an " Educational League ;" to 
morrow it will find some other name by which to deceive 
the simple. 

3. Ceremonies of one of the Degrees of Masonry, 

In September, 1826, an awful act of violence was com 
mitted upon the person of Capt. William Morgan. He 
was seized by ruffian hands, taken against his will, in the 
village of Batavia, N. Y., and carried from thence to Fort 


Niagara. The cause assigned for his abduction and mur 
der is, that he was a Freemason, and as such had disclosed 
the secrets of Masonry. The persons concerned in the 
acts of violence were Freemasons, and for such acts 
there is no other assignable reason than that he had pub 
lished the secrets of Masonry : the conclusion is, that for 
Buch publication he has suffered death.* 

This outrage created a great excitement in the Union, 
especially in the State of New York. It opened the 
eyes of many honest Freemasons, who left the order. 
Antimasonic Conventions of Seceding Freemasons were 
held at Le Roy, and other places, on February 19th and 
20th, March 6th and 7th, July 4th and 5th, 1828. Ad 
dresses were delivered on the antiquity of the Masonic in 
stitution, showing that it was not ancient ; on the morality 
of the institution, showing that it did not promote 
morality ; on the benevolence of the institution, showimr 
that it was not benevolent ; on the ceremonies of th^ 
institution, showing that they were not only degrading fr 
human nature, but blasphemous ; on the principles of 
the institution, showing that they were opposed to Chris 
tianity. A book, u Light on Masonry" (588 pages), 
was published by David Bernard, of Warsaw, in 1829, to 
inform the public of the diabolical workings of Free 
masonry. From this book I have taken the ceremonies 
of one of the degrees of Masonry, the Masonic oath, its 
obligations, and some of the addresses which were made 
with the view of having the order banished from the 
United States : 

* Speech of the Hon. John Cleary, in the Senate of the State of New- 
York, March 25, 182d 





This council must be illuminated by one single light, 
and is enlightened by one divine light. Because there is 
one single light that shines among men, who have the 
happiness of going from the darkness of ignorance and of 
the vulgar prejudices, to follow the only light that leads 
to the celestial truth. The light that is in our lodge is 
composed of a glass globe filled with water, and a light 
placed behind it, and therefore renders the light more 
clear. The glass of reflection, the globe, when it is lighted, 
is placed in the South. 

Robe and Sceptre. The Grand Master, or Thrice Puis 
sant, is named FATHER ADAM, who is placed in the east, 
vested in a robe of pale yellow, like the morning. He 
has his hat on, and in his right hand a sceptre, on the top 
of which is a globe of gold ; the handle or extremity of 
the sceptre is gilt. The reason that Father Adam carries 
the globe above the sceptre in this council is, because he 
was constituted " Sovereign Master of the world" and 
created " Sovereign Father of all men.^ He carries a 
SUN, suspended by a chain of gold around his neck, and 
on the reverse of this jewel of gold is a globe. When this 
degree is given, no jewel or apron is worn. 

There is only one Warden, who sits opposite Father 
Adam in the west, and is called Brother Truth. He is en 
titled to the same ornaments as Father Adam ; and the 
order that belongs to. this degree is a broad white 


ribbon, worn as a collar, with an eye of gold embroidered 
thereon, above the gold chain and jewel of the sun. The 
number of other officers is seven, and are called by the 
name of the cherubims, as follows ; ZAPHRIEL, ZABRIEL, 
These ought to be decorated in the same manner as the 
Thrice Puissant Father Adam. If there are more than 
that number of the Knights of the Sun they go by the 
name of SYLPHS, and are the preparers of the council, and 
assistants in all the ceremonies or operations of the lodge. 
They are entitled to the same jewel, but have a ribbon of 
fiery color tied to the third buttonhole of their coats. 

To open the Grand Council. Father Adam says, 
lt Brother Truth, what time is it on Earth ? " Brother 
Truth : u Mighty Father, it is midnight among the profane 
or cowans, but the sun is in its meridian in this lodge." 
Father Adam : " My dear children, profit by the favor of 
this austere luminary, at present showing its light to us, 
which will conduct us in the path of virtue, and to follow 
that law which is eternally to be engraved on our hearts, 
and the only law by which we cannot fail to come to the 
knowledge of pure truth" He then makes a sign, by 
putting his right hand on his left breast, on which all 
the brethren put up the first finger of the right hand 
above their heads, the other fingers clenched, showing 
by that that there is but one God, who is the beginning 
of all truth. Then Father Adam says, " This lodge 
is opened. " 

Form of Reception. After the council is opened, the 
candidate is introduced into an antechamber, where are a 
number of Sylphs, each with a bellows, blowing a large 
pot of fire, which the candidate sees, but they take no 


notice of him; after he is left in this situation two or 
three minutes, the most ancient of the Sylphs goes to the 
candidate, and covers his face with black crape. He 
must be without a sword, and is told that he must find 
the door of the sanctuary, and, when found, to knock on 
it six times with an open hand. After he finds the door, 
and knocks, Brother Truth goes to the door, and having 
opened it a little, asks the candidate the following ques 
tions, which he answers by the help of the Sylphs : 
Q. "What do you desire!" A. "I desire to go out 
of darkness to see the true light, and to know the true 
light in all its purity." Q. " What do you desire more ? " 
A. " To divest myself of original sin, and destroy the 
juvenile prejudices of error, which all men are liable to, 
namely : the desires of all worldly attachment and pride. ?) 
On which Brother Truth comes to Father Adam and re 
lates what the candidate has told him, when Father Adam 
gives orders to introduce the candidate to the true happi 
ness. Then Brother Truth opens the door, and takes 
the candidate by the hand, and conducts him to the mid 
dle of the lodge or sanctuary, which is also covered by a 
black cloth, when Father Adam addresses him thus : 
" My son, seeing by your labor in the royal art you are 
now come to the desire of knowledge of the pure and holy 
truth, we shall lay it open to you without any disguise 
or covering. But, before we do this, consult your heart, 
and see in this moment if you feel yourself disposed to 
obey her (namely, Truth) in all things which she com 
mands. If you are disposed, I am sure she is ready in 
your heart, and you must feel an emotion that was un 
known to you before. This being the case, you must 
hope that she will not be long to manifest herself to you. 


/ / 

But have a care not to defile the sanctuary by a spirit of 
curiosity, and take care not to increase the number of 
the vulgar and profane, that have for so long a time ill- 
treated her, until Truth was obliged to depart the earth, 
and now can hardly trace any of her footsteps. But she 
always appears in her greatest glory, without disguise, to 
the true, good and honest Freemasons ; that is to say, to 
the zealous extirpators of superstition and lies." [By 
a careful perusal of this degree it will be seen that by 
" superstition and lies" is meant the true religion, Ed.~\ 
"I hope, my dear brother, you will be one of her intimate 
favorites. The proofs that you have given assure me of 
everything I have to expect of your zeal, for, as nothing 
now can be more a secret among us, I shall order Brother 
Truth that he will instruct you what you are to do, in 
order to come to true happiness." After this discourse of 
Father Adam, the candidate is unveiled, and shown the 
form of the lodge or council, without explaining any part 
thereof. Brother Truth then proceeds thus : " My dear 
brother, by mouth, holy Truth speaketh to you ; but, 
before. she can manifest herself to you, she requires of 
you proofs in which she is satisfied in your entrance in 
the Masonic Order. She has appeared to you in many 
things, which you could not have apprehended or compre 
hended without her assistance ; but now you have the 
happiness to arrive at the brilliant day, nothing can be 
a secret to you. Learn, then, the moral use that is 
made of the three first parts of the furniture, which you 
knew after you were received an Entered Apprentice 
Mason, viz. : Bible, Compass, and Square. By the 
Bible, you are to understand that it is the only law you 
ought to follow. It is that which Adam received at his 


creation, and which the Almighty engraved in his 
heart. This law is called natural law, and shows posi 
tively that there is but one G-od, and to adore only him 
without any subdivision or interpolation. The Compass 
gives you the faculty of judging for yourself, that what 
ever God has created is well, and he is the sovereign 
author of everything. Existing in himself, nothing is 
either good or evil, because we understand, by this ex 
pression, an action done which is excellent in itself, is 
relative, and submits to the human understanding, judg 
ment to know the value and price of such action, and 
that God, with whom everything is possible, communi 
cates nothing of his will but such as his great goodness 
pleases 5 and everything in the universe is governed as 
he has decreed it with justice, being able to compare it 
with the attributes of the Divinity. I equally say, that in 
himself there is no evil, because he has made every thing 
with exactness, and that everything exists according to 
his will; consequently, as it ought to be. The distance 
between good and evil, with the Divinity, cannot be 
more justly and clearly compared than by a circle 
formed with a compass : from the points being reunited 
there is formed an entire circumference ; and when any 
point in particular equally approaches or equally separates 
from its point, it is only a faint resemblance of the 
distance between good and evil, which we compare by 
the points of a compass forming a circle, ivhich circle, when 
completed, is God ! 

" Square. By the Square we discover that God who 
has made everything equal, in the same manner as you are 
not able to dig a body in a quarry complete or perfect ; thus 
the wish of the Eternal, in creating the world by a liberal 


act of his own, well foresaw every matter that could 
possibly happen in consequence thereof 5 that is to say, 
that everything- therein contained at the same time of 
the creation was good. 

" Level. You have also seen a level, a plumb, and a 
rough stone. By the level you are to learn to be 
upright and sincere, and not to suffer yourself to be drawn 
away by the multitude of the blind and ignorant people / 
to be always firm and steady, to sustain the right of the 
natural law, and the pure and real knowledge of that 
truth which it teacheth. 

" Perpendicular and rough stone. By these you ought 
to understand that the perpendicular man, made polished 
~by reason ; and put censure away by the excellence of 
our Master. 

" Trestle-board. You have seen the trestle-board, to 
draw plans on. This represents the man whose whole 
occupation is the art of thinking, and employs his reason 
to that which is just and reasonable. 

" Cubic-stone. You have seen the cubic-stone, the moral 
of which, and the sense you ought to draw from it, is 
to rule your actions that they might be equally brought 
to the sovereign good. 

" Pillars. The two pillars teacheth you that all Masons 
ought to attach themselves firmly to become an ornament 
to the order, as well as to its support as the pillars of 
Hercules formerly determined the end of the ancient 

li Bid&ing star. You have seen the blazing star, the 
moral sense of which is, a true Mason perfecting himself in 
the way of truth, that he may become like a blazing 
star ; which shineth equally during the thickest darkness, 


and it is useful to those that it shineth upon, and who are 
ready and desirous of profiting by its light. 

" The first instructions have conducted you to the know 
ledge of Hiram Abiff, and the inquiries that were made in 
finding him out. You have been informed of the words, 
signs, and tokens which were substituted to those we 
feared would have been surprised, but of which they 
afterwards learnt that the treacherous villains had not 
been able to receive any knowledge of; and this ought to 
be an example and salutary advice to you, to be always 
on your guard, and well persuaded that it is difficult to 
escape the snares that ignorance, joined to conceited 
opinion, lays every day against us, and thereby to over 
come us ; and the most virtuous men are liable to fall, 
because their candor renders them unsuspecting ; but, 
in this case, you ought to be firm, as our Respectable 
Father Hiram, who chose rather to be massacred than to 
give up what he had obtained. 

" This will teach you that, as soon as truth shall be fixed 
in your heart, you ought never to consider the resolu 
tion you should take, you must live and die to sustain 
tlie light, by which we acquire the sovereign good j we 
must never expose ourselves to the conversation of 
cowans, and must be circumspect, even with those with 
whom we are the most intimate, and not to deliver up 
ourselves to any, excepting those whose character and 
behavior have proved them brothers, who are worthy to 
come and appear in the sacred sanctuary, where holy 
Truth delivers her oracles. 

" You have passed the Secret and Perfect Master; you 
have been decorated with an ivory key, a symbol of 
your distinction ; you have received the pronunciation. 


of the ineffable name of the Great Architect of the uni 
verse, and have been placed at the first balustrade of the 
sanctuary ; you have had rank among the Levites, after 
you knew the word Zizon, which signifies a balus 
trade of the Levites/ where all those are placed as well 
as yourself, to expect the knowledge of the most sublime 

" Coffin and Rope. In the degree of Perfect Master, 
they have shown you a grave, a coffin, and a withe- 
rope, to raise and deposit the body in a sepulchre, made 
in the form of a pyramid, in the top of which was a 
triangle, within which was the sacred name of the 
ETERNAL, and on the pavement were the two columns 
of Jachin and Boaz, laid across. 

" Ivory Key. By the ivory key you are to under 
stand that you cannot open your heart with safety, but at 
proper times. By the corpse and grave is represented the 
state of man, before he had known the happiness of our 
Order ! 

" Rope. The rope to which the coffin is tied, in order 
to raise it, is the symbol of raising a unit, as you have 
been raised from the grave of ignorance to the celestial 
place where Truth resides. 

"Pyramid. The pyramid represents the true Mason, 
who raises himself by degrees, till he reaches heaven, to adore 
the sacred and unalterable name of the Eternal Supreme. 

" INTIMATE SECRETARY. This new degree leads you 
near to Solomon and honor, and after you redoubled your 
zeal, you gained new honors and favors, having nearly 
lost your life by curiosity ; which attachment to Masonry 
gave you the good qualities of your heart, and which found 
you grace, and led you to the l Intendant of the Build- 


ings, and where you saw a blazing star, a large candle 
stick, with seven branches, with altars, vases, and purifi 
cation, and a great brazen sea. 

" Blazing Star. By the expression of purification, 
you are to understand that you are to be cleansed from 
impiety and prejudice, before you can acquire more of 
the sublime knowledge in passing the other degree, to be 
able to support the brilliant light of reason, enlightened 
by truth, of which the blazing star is the figure. 

" Candlestick and Seven Brandies. By the candlestick 
with seven branches, you are to remember the mys 
terious number of the seven Masters who were named to 
succeed one ; and from that time it was resolved that 
seven Knights of Masonry, united together, were able to 
initiate into Masonry, and show them the seven gifts of the 
Eternal, which we shall give you a perfect knowledge of, 
when you have been purified in the brazen sea. 

"Brazen Sea. You have passed from the f Secret 
and l Perfect Master to the Intimate Secretary/ 
1 Provost and Judge/ and Intendant of the Buildings. 
In these degrees they have showed you an ebony box, 
a key suspended, a balance, and an inflamed urn. 

"Ebony Box. The ebony box shows you with what 
scrupulous attention you are to keep the secrets that have 
been confided to you, and which you are to reserve in 
the closet of your heart, of which the box is an emblem. 
And were you to reflect on the black color of said box, 
it would teach you to cover your secrets with a thick 
veil, in such a manner that the profane cowans cannot 
possibly have any knowledge thereof. 

"Key. The key demonstrates that you have already 
obtained a key to our knowledge, and part of our mys- 


teries ; and if you behave with equity, fervor, and zeal, tc 
your brothers, you will arrive shortly to the knowledge and 
meaning of our society , and this indicates the reason of 
the balance. 

" Inflamed Urn. By the inflamed urn you are to under- 
derstand that, as far as you come to the knowledge of the 
royal and^ sublime art, you must, by your behavior, 
leave behind you, in the minds of your brethren and the 
vulgar, a high idea of your virtue, equal to the perfume 
of the burning urn. 

" Two Kings. In the degree of Intimate Secretary, 
you have seen and heard two kings, who were entering 
into their new alliance and reciprocal promise, and of the 
perfection of their grand enterprise. They spoke of the 
death of Hiram Abiif, our Excellent Master. You saw 
guards and man s overseer, and very near of being put 
to death for his curiosity of peeping. You also heard 
of the prospect of a plan called the vault, to deposit the 
precious treasure of Masonry, when the time should be 
fulfilled, and you afterwards became a brother. The con 
versation of the two kings is the figure and report that 
our laws must hold with the natural law, which forms a 
perfect agreement with the conveniences, and promises 
to those who shall have the happiness to be connected to 
you in the same manner and perfect alliance, they will 
afterwards come to the centre of true knowledge. 

" Tears. The tears and regret of the two kings are the 
emblem of the regret you ought to have, when you per 
ceive a brother depart from the road of virtue. 

" The Man Peeping. By the man you saw peeping, arid 
who was discovered, and seized, and conducted to death, 
is an emblem of those who come to be initiated into our 


sacred mysteries through a motive of curiosity ; and, if so 
indiscreet as to divulge their obligations, WE ARE BOUND TO 


pray the Eternal to preserve our order from such an evil 
you have hereof seen an example in that degree to which 
you came, by your zeal, fervor, and constancy. In that 
degree you have remarked that, from all the favorites that 
were at that time in the apartment of Solomon, only nine 
were elected to avenge the death of Hiram Abiff; this 
makes good that a great many are often called, but few 
chosen. To explain this enigma : a great many of the 
profane have the happiness to divest themselves of that 
name, to see and obtain the entrance in our sanctuary, 
but very few are constant, zealous, and fervent to merit 
the happiness of coming to the height and knowledge of 
the sublime truth. 

"Requisitions to make a good Mason. If you ask me what 
are the requisite qualities that a Mason must be possessed 
of, to come to the centre of truth, I answer you that you 
must crush the head of the serpent of ignorance. You 
must shake off tlie yoke of infant prejudice, concerning the 
mysteries of the reigning religion, which worship has been 
imaginary, and only founded on the spirit of pride, ivhich 
envies to command and be distinguished, and to be at the 
head of the vulgar, in affecting an exterior purity, which 
characterizes a false piety, joined to a desire of acquiring 

* Since the immolation of William Morgan, and the publication of his 
"Illustrations," Masons have boastingly said, "If the penalty of our laws 
is death, no one is bound to ii.fltct it." But Masonry says, "We are bound 
to take vengeance on the treason, by the destruction of the traitor;" "We are 
bound to cause his death ! " 


that which is not its own, and is always the subject of this 
exterior pride, and unalterable source of many disorders, 
which, being joined to gluttonness, is the daughter ,of hypo 
crisy, and employs every matter to satisfy carnal desires, and 
raises to these predominant passions altars, upon which she 
maintains, without ceasing, the light of iniquity, and 
sacrifices continually offerings to luxury, voluptuousness, 
hatred, envy, and perjury. Sehold, my dear brother, what 
you miest fight against and destroy, before you can come to 
the knowledge of the true good and sovereign happiness ! 
Sehold this monster ivhich you must conquer a serpent 
which WE detest as an idol that is adored by the idiot 
and vulgar, under the name of RELIGION ! ! ! ? [Here, 
indeed, the principles of Masonry are taught with all 
plainness; and if the reader has heretofore been blind 
to the nature and tendency of the institution, methinks 
he can see them now ! Here the Christian beholds his 
blessed Christ rejected himself charged with the basest 
crimes condemned as an idiot his worship imaginary 
his religion founded on the spirit of pride, the daughter 
of hypocrisy a serpent, a monster, an idol detested by 
Masonry ! Editor."] 

u Solomon, King Hiram, and St. John the Baptist. In 
the degrees of Elected of Fifteen, Illustrious Knights ? 
Grand Master Architects, and the Royal Arch/ * you have 
seen many things which are 6nly a repetition of what you 
have already examined. You will always find in those 
degrees initial letters, enclosed in different triangles, or 
Deltas. You have also seen the planet Mercury, the 
chamber called GABAON, or the THIRD HEAVEN ; the 
winding staircase the ark of alliance the tomb of 
* KuightB of the Ninth Arch. 


Hiram Abiff, facing the ark and the urn the precious 
treasure found by the assiduous travellers the three 
zealous brethren Masons the punishment of the haughty 
Master Mason, in being buried under the ancient ruins of 
Enoch and finally you have seen the figures of Solomon, 
and Hiram, king of Tyre, and St. John the Baptist. 

" 3 I. I. J t By the 3 1. 1. I. you know the three sacred 
names of the Eternal, and Mount Gabaon (Third Heaven), 
which you came to by seven degrees, which compose 
the winding staircase. 

"The seven stars represent the seven principal and differ 
ent degrees to which you must come, to attain the height of 
glory represented by the mount, where they formerly 
sacrificed to the Most High ! When you arrive to that, 
you are to subdue yourself in your passions, in not doing 
anything that is not prescribed in our laws. 

" By the planet Mercury, you are taught continually to 
mistrust, shun, and run away from those who, by a false 
practice, maintain commerce with people of a vicious life, 
who seem to despise the most sacred mysteries ; that is, 
to depart from those who, by the vulgar fear, or have 
a bad understanding, and are ready to deny the solemn 
obligations that they have contracted among us. When 
you come to the foot of our arch, you are to apprehend 
that you come to the SANCTUM SANCTORUM. You are 
not to return, but rather to persist in sustaining the glory 
of our order, and the truth of our laws, principles, and 
mysteries, in like manner as our Respectable Father, 
Hiram Abiff, who deserved to have been buried there for 
his constancy and fidelity. We have also another ex 
ample in the firmness of GALAAD, the son of SOPHONIA, 
chief of the Levites, under Surnam, the High Priest, as 


mentioned in the history of perfection. Learn in this 
moment, my dear brother, what you are to understand by 
the figures of Solomon, Hiram, King of Tyre, and St. 
John the Baptist. The two first exert you, by t heir zeal 
in the royal art, to follow the sublime road of which 
Solomon was the institutor, and Hiram of Tyre, the 
supporter, a title legitimately due to that king, who 
not only protected the order, but contributed with all his 
might to the construction of the temple (furnishing stone 
from Tyre, and the cedars of Lebanus), which Solomon 
built to the honor of the Almighty. 

u The third, or Si. John the Baptist, teaches you to 
preach marvellous of this order, which is as much as to 
say, you are to make secret missions among men^ which 
you believe to be in a state of entering the road of truth, 
that they may be able one day to see her virtues and visage 

" Hiram Abiff was the symbol of truth on earth. Jubelum 
Akirop was accused by the serpent of ignorance, which 
to this day raises altars in the hearts of the profane and 
fearful. This profaneness, backened by a fanatic zeal, 
becomes an instrument to the religious reign, which struck 
the first stroke in the heart of our dear Father, Hiram 
Abiff; which is as much as to say, undermined the foun 
dation of the celestial temple which the Eternal himself 
had ordered to be raised to the sublime truth and his 
glory. ^ 

" The first stage of the world has been witness to what 
I have advanced. The simple, natural law rendered to 
our first fathers the most uninterrupted happiness ; they 
were in those times more virtuous, but soon as the 
"monster of pride 7 started up in the air, and disclosed 


herself to those unhappy mortals, she promised to them 
every seat of happiness, and seduced them by her soft and 
bewitching speeches, viz. : that * they must render to 
the Eternal Creator of all things an adoration with more 
testimony and more extensive than they had hitherto 
done/ etc. This HYDRA, with an hundred heads, at 
that time misled, and continues to this day to mislead men, 
who are so weak as to submit to her empire j and k will 
subsist until the moment that the true elected shall appear, 
and destroy her entirely. 

" The degree of Sublime Elected that you have passed, 
gives you the knowledge of those things which conducts 
you to the true and solid good. The grand 
circle represents the immensity of the Eternal 
Supreme, who has neither beginning nor end. 
The triangle, or Delta, is the mysterious figure 
of the Eternal. The three letters which you 
see signify as follows : G, at the top of the 
triangle, i the grand cause of the Masons; 7 the 
S, at the left hand, the submission to the same order : 
and the U, at the right hand, the ( union that ought to reign 
among the brethren ; 7 which altogether make but one body, 
or equal figure, in all its parts. This is the triangle called 
equilateral. The great letter Gr, placed in the centre 
of the triangle, signifies * Great Architect of the universe/ 
who is God ; and in this ineffable name are found all the 
divine attributes. This letter being placed in the centre 
of the triangle, is for us to understand that every true 
Mason must have it profoundly in his heart. 

" There is another triangle, on which is en 
graved S, B, and N, of which you have had an 
explanation in a preceding degree. This triangle 

S N 


designs the connection of the brethren in virtue. The 
solemn promise they have made to love each other, to help, 
to succor, and keep inviolably secret their mysteries of the 
perfection proposed, in all their enterprises. It is said in 
that degree, that you have entered the Third Heaven; 
that means you have entered the place where pure truth 
resides, since she abandoned the earth to monsters who 
persecuted her. 

" The end of the degree of Perfection is a preparation to 
come more clearly to the knowledge of true happiness, 
in becoming a true Mason, enlightened by the celestial 
luminary of truth, in renouncing, voluntarily, all adora 
tions but those that are made to one G-od, the Creator 
of heaven and earth, great, good, and merciful. 

" The Knights of the East, the Princes of Jerusalem, and 
Knights of the East and West, are known to us, in our 
days, to be Masonry renewed, and all of them lead us to 
the same end of the celestial truth, which is to say, 
finished. , * 

" The Knights of the White and Black Eagle/ and the 
6 Sublime Princes of the Eoyal Secret/ and t Grand 
Commander/ are the chiefs of the great enterprise of the 
order in general." (End of Brother Truth s harangue.) 

Father Adam then says to the candidate : " My dear son, 
what you have heard from the mouth of Truth is an 
abridgment of all the consequences of all the degrees 
you have gone through, in order to come to the know 
ledge of the hbly truth, contracted in your last engage 
ments. Do you persist in your demand of coming to the 
hbly brother, and is that what you desire, with a clear 
heart ? answer me." The candidate answers, " I persist.*? 
Then Father Adam says : " Brother Truth, as the truth 


persists, approach with him to the sanctuary, in order 
that he may take a solemn obligation to follow our laws, 
principles, and morals, and to attach himself to us for 
ever." Then the candidate falls on his knees, and Father 
Adam takes his hands between his own, and the candi 
date repeats the following obligation three times : 

Obligation. "I promise in the face of God, and 

between the hands of my Sovereign, and in presence 
of all the brethren now present, never to take arms 
against my king, directly or indirectly, in any conspiracy 
against him. I promise never to reveal any of the 
degrees of the Knight of the Sun, which is now on the 
point of being intrusted to me, to any person or persons 
whatsoever, without being duly qualified to receive the 
same ; and never to give my consent to any one to be 
admitted into our mysteries, only after the most scrupulous 
circumspection, and full knowledge of his life and con 
versation ; and who has given at all times full proof of his 
zeal and fervent attachment for the order, and a submission 
at all times to the tribunal of the Sovereign Princes of 
the Royal Secret. I promise never to confer the degree 
of the Knights of the Sun, without having a permission 
in writing from the Grand Council of Princes of the Royal 
Secret, or from the Grand Inspector, or his deputy, known 
by their titles and authority. I promise also, and swear, 
that I will not assist any, through my means, to form or 
raise a lodge of the Sublime Orders, in this island (or in 
America, as the case may be), ( without proper authority. 
I promise and swear to redouble my zeal for all my 
brethren, Knights, and Princes, that are present 01 
absent, and if I fail in this my obligation, I consent foi 
all my brethren, when they are convinced of my infidelity. 


to seize me, and thrust my tongue through with a red 
hot iron ; to pluck out both my eyes, and to deprive me 
of smelling and hearing 5 to cut off both of my hands, 
and expose me in that condition in the field, to be 
devoured by the voracious animals j and if none can be 
found, I wish -the lightning of heaven might execute on 
me the same vengeance. O God! maintain me in right 
and equity. Amen. Amen. Amen." 

After the obligation is three times repeated, Father 
Adam raises the candidate, and gives him one kiss on 
his forehead, being the seat of the soul. He then decor 
ates him with the collar and jewel of the order, and 
gives him the following sign, token, and word : * * * * 

After these are given, the candidate goes round, and 
gives them to every one, which brings him back to 
Father Adam. He then sits down with the rest of the 
brethren, and then Brother Truth gives the following 
explanation of the Philosophical Lodge : 

Sun. The sun represents the unity of the Eternal 
Supreme, the only grand work of philosophy. 

3 S. S. S. The 3 S. S. S. signifies the Stiletto, Sidech, 
Solo, or the residence of the Sovereign Master of all things. 

Three Candlesticks. The three candlesticks show us 
the three degrees of fire. 

Four Triangles. The four triangles represent the 
four elements. 

Seven Planets. The seven planets design the seven 
colors that appear in their original state, from whence we 
have so many different artificial ones. 

Seven Cherubims. The seVen cherubims represent the 
seven metals, viz. : gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, tin, 
and quicksilver. 


Conception in the Moon. The conception, or woman 
rising in the moon, demonstrates the purity that matter 
subsists of, in order to remain in its pure state, unmixed 
with any other body, from which must come a new 
king, and a revolution or fulness of time, filled with glory, 
whose name is ALBRA-EST. 

Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, under the symbol of a 
dove, is the image of the Universal Spirit, that gives 
light to all in the three states of nature 5 and on the 
" animal" " vegetable" " and il mineral" 

Entrance of the Temple. The entrance of the temple is 
represented to you by a body, because the grand work of 
nature is complete as gold, portable and fixed. 

Globe. The globe represents the matter in the prijenal 
state ; that is to say, complete. 

Caduceus. The caduceus represents the double mercury 
that you must extract from the matter ; that is to say, the 
mercury fixed, and from thence is extracted gold and 

Stibium. The word stibium signifies the antimony from 
whence, by the philosophical fire, is taken an alkali which 
we empty in our grand work. (End of the philosophical 
explanation.) Then Father Adam explains the 


Sun. The sun represents the divinity of the Eternal j 
for, as there is but one sun to light and invigorate the 
earth, so there is but one Q-od, to whom we outfit to pay 
our greatest adoration. 

3. S. S. S. The 3 S. S. S. teach you that science, 
adorned with wisdom, creates a holy man. 

Three Candlesticks. The three candlesticks are the 


image of the life of man, considered in youth, manhood^ 
and old age, and happy are those that have been enlight 
ened in these ages by the light of truth. 

Four Triangles. The four triangles show us the four 
principal duties that create our tranquil life, viz. : Frater 
nal love among men in general, and particularly among 
brethren, and in the same degree with us. 2dly. In not 
having anything but for the use and advantage of a 
brother. 3dly. Doubting of every matter that cannot 
be demonstrated to you clearly, by which an attempt 
might be insinuated as mysterious in matters of religion, 
and hereby lead you away from the holy truth. 4thly. 
Never do anything to another that you would not have 
done unto you. The last precept, well understood, and fol 
lowed on all occasions, is the true happiness of philosophy. 

Seven Planets. The seven planets represent the seven 
principal passions of man. 

Seven Clierubims. The seven cherubims are the images 
of the delights of the life, namely, by seeing, hearing, 
tasting, smelling, feeling, tranquillity, and health. 

Conception. The conception in the moon shows the 
purity of matter, and that nothing can be impure to the 
eyes of the Supreme. 

Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the figure of our soul, 
which is only the breath of the Eternal, and which cannot 
be soiled by the works of the body. 

Temple. The temple represents our body, which we 
are obliged to preserve by our natural feelings. 

Figure of a Man. The figure is in the entrance of the 
temple, which bears a lamb in his arms, and teaches us to 
be attentive to our wants, as a shepherd takes care of 
his sheep j to be charitable, and never to let slip the 


present opportunity of doing good, to labor honestly, and to 
live in this day as if it were our last. 

Columns of Jachin and Boaz. The columns of J. and 
B. are the symbols of the strength of our souls, in bearing 
equally misfortunes as well as success in life. - - 

Seven Steps of the Temple. The seven steps of the 
temple are the figures of the seven degrees which we 
must pass before we arrive to the knowledge of the true 

Globe. The globe represents the world which we in 

Lux ex Tenebrls. The device of Lux ex tenebris 
teacheth that/ when man is enlightened by reason, he is 
able to penetrate the darkness and obscurity which igno 
rance and superstition spread abroad. 

Miver. The river across the globe represents the 
utility of the passions, that are as necessary to man, in 
the course of his life, as water is requisite to the earth, 
in order to replenish the plants thereof. 

Cross Surrounded. The cross surrounded by two ser 
pents signifies that we must watch the vulgar prejudices, 
to be very prudent in giving any of our knowledge and 
secrets in matters, especially in religion. (End of the 
moral explanation.) 



Q. Are you a Knight of the Sun ? A. I have mounted 
the seven principal steps of Masonry j I have penetrated 
into the bowels of the earth, and among the dncient ruins 
of Enoch, found the most grand and precious treasure of 
the Masons. I have seen, contemplated, and admired 


the great, mysterious, and formidable name, engraved on 
the triangle ; I have broken the pillar of beauty, and 
thrown down the two columns that supported it. Q. Pray 
tell me what is that mysterious and formidable name ? A. 
I cannot unfold the sacred characters in this manner, but 
substitute in its place the grand word of nirP Q- What 
do you understand by throwing down the columns that 
sustained the pillar of beauty? A. Two reasons: 1st. 
When the temple was destroyed by Nabuzaradan, general 
of the army of Nebuchadnezzar, I was one that helped 
to defend the Delta, on which was engraved the ineffable 
name ; and I broke down the columns of beauty, in order 
that it should not be profaned by the infidels. 2d. As 
I have deserved, by my travel and labor, the beauty of 
the great " ADONAI" (Lord), the mysteries of Masonry, in 
passing the seven principal degrees. Q. What signifies 
the seven planets ? A. The lights of the celestial globe, 
and also their influence, by which every matter exists on 
the surface of the earth or globe. Q. From what is the 
terrestrial globe formed ? A. From the matter which is 
formed by the concord of the four elements, designed by 
the four triangles, that are in regard to them, as the 
four greater planets. Q. What are the names of the 
seven planets ? A. Sun, Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, 
Mercury, and Saturn. Q. Which are the four elements ? 
A. Air, fire, earth, and water. Q. What influence have 
the seven planets on the four elements ? A. Three gen 
eral matters, of which all bodies are composed : life, 
spirit, and body, otherwise, salt, sulphur, and mercury. 
Q. What is life, or salt ? A. The life given by the Eternal 
Supreme, or the planets, the agents of nature. Q. What 
is the spirit, or sulphur ? A. A fired matter, subject to 


several productions. Q. What is the body, or mercury ? 
A. Matter conducted or refined to its form by the union 
of salt and sulphur, or the agreement of the three 
governors of nature. Q. What are those three governors 
of nature ? A. Animal, vegetable, and mineral. Q. 
What is animal? A. We understand, in this life, all that 
is divine and amiable. Q. Which of the elements serve 
for his productions? A. All the four are necessary, 
among which, nevertheless, air and fire are predominant, 
and it is those that render the animal the perfection of 
the three governments, which man is elevated to by 
one-fourth of the breath of the Divine Spirit, when he 
receives his soul. Q. What is the vegetable ? A. All 
that seems attached to the earth reigns on the surface. 
Q. Of what is it composed? A. Of a generative fire r 
formed into a body, whilst it remains in the earth, and i& 
purified by its moisture, and becomes vegetable, and 
receives life by air and water whereby the four elements, 
though different, cooperate jointly and separately. Q. 
What is the mineral ? A. All that is generated and 
secreted in the earth. Q. What do we understand by this 
name ? A. That which we call metals, and demi-metals, 
and minerals. Q. What is it that composes the minerals ? 
A. The air penetrating, by the celestial influence, into 
the earth, meets with a body which by its softness fixes, 
congeals, and renders the mineral matter more or less per 
fect. Q. Which are the perfect metals ? A. Gold 
and silver. Q. Which are the imperfect metals ? A. 
Brass, lead, tin, iron, and quicksilver. Q. How come we 
by the knowledge of these things ? A. By frequent obser 
vations, and the experiments made in natural philosophy, 
which have decided to a certainty that nature gives a 


perfection to all things, if she has time to complete her 
operations. Q. Can art bring metal to perfection so fully 
as nature ? A. Yes ; but in order to this, you must have 
an exact knowledge of nature. Q. What will assist you 
to bring forth this knowledge ? A. A matter brought to 
perfection ; this has been sought for under the name of the 
philosopher s stone. Q. What does the globe represent ? 
A. An information of philosophers, for the benefit of the 
art in this work. Q. What signifies the words, "Lux ex 
tenebris " ? A. That is the depth of darkness you ought 
to retire from, in order to gain the true light. Q. What 
signifies the cross on the globe ? A. The cross is the 
emblem of the true elected. Q. What represent the 
three candlesticks I A. The three degrees of five, which 
the artist must have knowledge to give, in order to 
procure the matters from which it proceeds. Q. What 
signifies the word Stibium f A. It signifies antimony, 
or the first matter of all things. Q. What signifies the 
seven degrees ? A. The different effectual degrees of 
Masonry which you must pass to come to the Sublime 
Degree of Knights of the Sun. Q. What signifies the 
diverse attributes in those degrees ? 

A. 1st. The Bible, or God s law, which we ought to 

2d. The Compass teaches us to do nothing unjust. 

3d. The Square conducts us equal to the same end. 

4th. The Level demonstrates to us all that is just and 

5th. The Perpendicular, to be upright and subdue the 
vail of prejudice. 

6th. The Trestle-board is the image of our reason, where 
the functions are combined to effect, compare, and think. 


7th. The Rough Stone is the resemblance of our vices, 
which we ought to reform. 

8th. The Cubic Stone is our passion, that we ought to sur 

9th. The Columns signify strength in all things. 

10th. The Blazing Star teaches that our hearts ought 
to be as a clear sun among those that are troubled with the 
things of this life. 

1 1 th. The Key teaches to have a watchful eje over those 
who are contrary to reason. 

12th. The Box teaches to keep our secrets inviolably. 

13th. The Urn teaches us that we ought to be as delicious 

14th. The Brazen Sea that we ought to purify ourselves, 
and destroy vice. 

15th. The Circles on the Triangles demonstrate the 
immensity of the divinity, under the symbol of truth. 

16th. The Poniard teacheth the step of the elected, 
many are called, but few are chosen, to the sublime 
knowledge of pure truth. 

17th. The word Albra-est signifies a king full of glory, 
and without blot. 

18th. The word Adonai signifies Sovereign Creator of 
all things. 

19th. The Seven Clierubims are the symbols of the 
delights of life, kn,own by seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, 
smelling, tranquillity, and thought. 

Q. What represents the sun f A. It is an emblem of 
Divinity, which we ought to regard as the image of God, 
This immense body represents the infinity of God s won 
derful will, as the only source of light and good. The 
heat of the sun produces the rule of the seasons, recruits 


nature, takes darkness from the winter, in order that the 
deliciousness of spring might succeed. (End of the 
Physical Lecture,) 


Q. From whence came you? A. From the centre of the 
earth. Q. How have you come from thence ? A. By 
reflection, and the study of nature. Q. Who has taught 
you this ? A; Men in general who are blind, and lead others 
in their blindness. Q. What do you understand by this 
blindness ? A. I do not understand it to be privy to their 
mysteries 5 but I understand under the name of blindness, 
those who cease to be ardent, after they have been privy 
to the light of the spirit of reason. Q. W T ho are those ? 
A. Those who, through the prejudices of superstition and 
fanaticism, render their services to ignorance. Q. What 
do you understand by fanaticism ? A. The seal of all 
particular sects, which are spread over the earth, who com 
mit crimes, by making offerings to fraud and falsehood. 
Q. And do you desire to rise from this darkness? A. My 
desire is to come to the celestial truth, and to travel by the 
light of the sun. Q. What represents that body ? A. It 
is a figure of an only God, to whom we ought to pay oui 
adoration. The sun being the emblem of God, we ought to 
regard it as the image of the Divinity, for that immense body 
represents wonderfully the infinity of God. He invigorates 
and produces the season, and replenishes nature, by taking 
the horrors from winter, and produces the delights of spring. 
Q. What does the triangle, with the sun in the centre, 
represent ? A, It represents the immensity of the Supreme. 
Q. What signifies the three S. S. S. f A. Sanctitas, Sci- 
entia, and Syrentia, which signify the science accompanied 


with wisdom, which make men holy. Q. What signifies 
the three candlesticks ? A. It represents the courses 
of life, considered in youth, manhood, and old age. Q. 
Has it any other meaning ? A. Yes, the triple light 
that shines among us, in order to take men out of dark 
ness and ignorance into which they are plunged, and to 
bring them to virtue, truth, and happiness, a symbol of our 
perfection. Q. What signifies the four triangles that are 
in the great circles ? A. They are the emblems of the 
four principal views of the life of tranquillity, etc. : 1st. 
Fraternal love to all mankind in general, more particu 
larly for our brethren, who are more attached to us, and 
who, with honor, have seen the wretchedness of the 
vulgar. 2d. To be cautious among us of things, and not 
to demonstrate them clearly to any who are not proper to 
receive them ; and to be likewise cautious in giving credit 
to any matter, however artfully it may be disguised, with 
out self-conviction in the heart. 3d. To cast from us every 
matter which we perceive we may ever repent of doing, 
taking care of this moral precept, " To do to every one of 
your fellow-creatures no more than you would choose to 
be done to." 4th. We ought always to confide in our 
Creator s bounty, and to pray without ceasing that all our 
necessities might be relieved, as it seems best to him for 
our advantage 5 to wait for his blessings patiently in this 
life j to be persuaded of his sublime decrees, that what 
ever might fall contrary to our wishes will be attended with 
good consequences ; to take his chastisements patiently, 
and be assured that the end of everything has been done 
by him for the best, and will certainly lead us to eternal 
happiness hereafter. Q. Teach us the signification of 
the seven planets which are enclosed in a triangle, that 


forms the rays of the exterior circles, and enclosed in the 
grand triangle. A. The seven planets, according to 
philosophy, represent the seven principal passions of the 
life of man j those passions are very useful, when they 
are used in moderation, for which the Almighty gave them 
to us, but grow fatal and destroy the body when let loose : 
and therefore it is our particular duty to subdue them. 
Q. Explain the seven passions to us I A. 1st. The propa 
gation of species. 2d. Ambition of acquiring riches. 
3d. Ambition to acquire glory in the arts and sciences 
among men in general. 4th. Superiority in civil life. 5th. 
Joys and pleasures of society. 6th. Amusements and 
gayeties of life. 7th. RELIGION. * 

Q. Which is the greatest sin of all that man can commit, 
and render him odious to God and man ? A. Suicide 
and Homicide. Q. What signifies the seven cherubims, 
whose names are written in the circle, called the " First 
Heaven " ? A. They represent the corporeal delights of 
this life, which the Eternal gave to man, when he created 
him, and are, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, 
tranquillity, and thought. Q. What signifies the figure 
in the moon, which we regard as the figure or image ot 
conception! A. The purity of nature, which procures 
the holiness of the body ; and that there is nothing im 
perfect in the eyes of the Supreme. Q. What signifies the 
figure of the columns? A. They are the emblem of our 
souls, which is the breath of life, proceeding from the 
All Puissant, which ought not to be soiled by the works of 
the body, but to be firm as columns. Q. What does 
the figure in the porch, which carries a lamb in his 
arms, represent ? A. The porch, ornamented with the 

*Mind this. 


columns of Jachin and Boaz, and surmounted with the 
grand I, represents our body, over which we ought to 
have a particular care, in watching our conversation, 
and also to watch our needs, as the shepherd his flock. 
Q. What signifies the two letters I and B, at the porch? 
A. They signify our entrance in the Order of Masonry j 
also the firmness of the soul, which we ought to possess from 
the hour of our initiation ; these we ought to merit, before 
we can come to the sublime degrees of knowing holy 
truth, and we ought to preserve them, and be firm in 
whatever situation we may be in, not knowing whether it 
may return to our good or evil in the passage of this life. 
Q. What signifies the large I in the triangle, on the 
crown of the portico ? A. That large I, being the 
initial of the mysterious name of the Great Architect of 
the Universe, whose greatness we should always have irs 
our minds, and that our labors ought to be employed to 
please him ; which we should always have in our view, 
as the sure and only source of our actions. Q. What 
signifies the seven steps that lead to the entry of the 
porch ? A. They mark the seven degrees in Masonry, 
which are the principal, which we ought to arrive to, in 
order to come to the knowledge of holy truth. Q. What 
does the terrestrial globe represent ? A. The world which 
we inhabit, and wherein Masonry is its principal ornament. 
Q. What is the explanation of the great word, "Adonai?" 
A. It is the word which God gave to Adam, for him to pray 
by ; a word which our common father never pronounced 
without trembling. Q. What signifies Lux ex tenebris ? 
A. A man made clear by the light of reason, penetrating 
this obscurity of ignorance and superstition. Q. What 
signifies the river across the globe ? A. It represents the 


utility of our passions, which are necessary to man in 
the course of his life, as water is necessary to render 
the earth fertile, as the sun draws up the water which, 
being purified, falls on the earth, and gives verdure. 
Q. What signifies the cross, surrounded by two serpents, 
on the top of the globe ? A. It represents to us not to 
repeat tlie vulgar prejudices; to be prudent, and to know the 
bottom of the heart. In matters of religion to be alivays pre 
pared ; not to be of the sentiments tvith sots, idiots, and the 
lovers of the mysteries of religion / to avoid such, and not 
in the least to hold any conversation with them. Q. What 
signifies the book, with the word Bible written in it ? 
A. As the Bible is differently interpreted by the different 
sects, who divide the different parts of the earth : thus 
the true sons of light, or children of truth, ought to doubt 
of everything at present, as mysteries or metaphysics. 
Thus all the decisions of theology and philosophy teach 
not to admit that which is not demonstrated as dearly as 
that 2 and 2 are equal to 4 ; and, on the whole, to adore 
God, and him only; to love him better than yourself; 
and always to have a confidence on the bounties and 
promises of our Creator. Amen. Amen. Amen. 

To close the Council Q. (By Father Adam.) " Brother 
Truth, what progress have men made on earth, to come 
to true happiness ? " A. (By Brother Truth.) " Men have 
always fallen on the vulgar prejudices, which are nothing 
but falsehood ; very few have struggled, and less have 
knocked at the door of this holy place, to attain the 
full light of real truth, which all ought to acquire/ 7 

Then says Father Adam : i i My dear children, depart and 
go among men, endeavor to inspire them with the desire 
of knowing holy truth, the pure source of all perfection." 


Father Adam then puts his right hand on his left breast, 
when all the brethren raise the first finger of the right 
hand, and the Council of the Knights of the Sun is 
closed by seven knocks. 

$ 4. Another Specimen of Masonic Oath. 

The first Masonic law, as found on page 20 of the 
" Illustrations of Masonry," by Wm. Morgan, is as follows: 
" Furthermore, I do promise and swear that I will not write, 
print, stamp, stain, hew, cut, carve, indent, paint, or en 
grave it (the secrets of Masonry), to anything movable 
or immovable, under the whole canopy of heaven, 
whereby or whereon the least letter, etc., may become 
legible or intelligible to myself, or any person in the known 
world, whereby the secrets of Masonry may become unlaw 
fully obtained through my unworthiness j binding myself 
under no less penalty than to have my throat cut across, 
my tongue torn out ~by the roots, and my body buried in the 
rough sands of the sea, at loiv watermark, where the tide 
ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours." One would 
suppose, if true, this was & powerful law ; I should wish for 
no greater punishment than the penalty of this law to 
be inflicted on me. The next Masonic law I shall cite 
may be found at page 45 of the same work : " Further 
more, do I promise and swear that I will support the 
constitution of the Grand Lodge of the United States, 
and the Grand Lodge of this State, under which this 
lodge is held, and conform to all the by-laivs, rules, and 
regulations of this or any other lodge of which I may at 
any time hereafter become a member, as far as in my 
power. Futhermore, do I promise and swear THAT i WILL 


GIVEN, HANDED, SENT OR THROWN to me by tlie liand of 
a brother Felloiv- Craft Mason, or from the body of a just 
and lawfully constituted lodge of such, binding myself under 
no less penalty than to have my left breast torn open, and 
my heart and vitals taken from thence, and thrown over 
my left shoulder, and carried into the valley of Jehosaphat, 
there to become a prey to wild beasts of the field, and vultures 
of the air, if ever I should prove wilfully guilty, etc." 
Stronger still, page 62, same work, Obligation of a Master 
Mason: "Furthermore, do I promise and swear that I 
will support the constitution of the Grand Lodge of the 
State of , under which this lodge is held, and con 
form to all the by-laws, rules, and regulations, of this or 
any other lodge of which I may hereafter become a member. 
Furthermore, do I promise and swear that I will OBEY 


SENT, OR THROWN to me, from the hand of a brother Master 
Mason, or from the body of a just and laiv fully constituted 
lodge of such. Furthermore, do I promise and swear that I 
will go on a Master Mason s errand, ivhenever required, 
even should 1 have to go barefoot and bareheaded, binding 
myself under no less penalty than to have my body severed 
in the midst, and divided to the north and south, my bowels 
burnt to ashes in the centre, and the ashes scattered before 
the four winds of heaven, that there might not tlw least 
track or trace of remembrance remain among men or 
Masons of so vile and perjured a wretch as I should be, 
were I ever to prove wilfully guilty y* etc. Stronger and 
stronger ; and thus they continue to increase in all impor- 
ant parts, up to the degree of Knights of the Holy and 
Thrice Illustrious Order of the Cross, the members of 
which take upon themselves the following obligation : 


" You further swear that, should you know another to 
violate any essential point of this obligation, you will use 
your most decided endeavors, by the blessing of God, to 
bring such persons to the strictest and most condign punish 
ment, agreeably to the rules and usages of our ancient 
fraternity j and this by pointing him out to the world as an 
unworthy vagabond j by opposing his interest, by derang 
ing his business, by transferring . his character after, him 
wherever he may go, and by exposing him to the contempt 
of the whole fraternity and the world, but of our illustrious 
order, more especially, during his whole natural life : noth 
ing herein going to prevent yourself, or any other, when 
elected to the dignity of Thrice Illustrious, from retaining 
the ritual of the order, if prudence and caution appear to 
be the governing principle in so retaining it, such dignity 
authorizing the elected to be governed by no rule but the 
dictates of his own judgment, in regard to what will best 
conduce to the interest of the order 5 but that he be 
responsible for the character of those whom he may induct, 
and for the concealment of the said ritual. 

" Should any Thrice Illustrious Knight or acting officer 
of any council which may have them in hand, ever require 
your aid in any emergency, in defence of the recovery of 
his said charge, you swear cheerfully to exercise all assist 
ance in his favor, which the nature of the time and place 
will admit, even to the sacrifice of life, liberty, and property. 
To all and every part thereof we then bind you, and by 
ancient usage you bind yourself, under the no less infamous 
penalty than dying the death of a traitor, by having a 
spear, or other sharp instrument, like as our divine Master, 
thrust in your left side, bearing testimony, even in death, 
of the power and justice of the mark of the holy cross. 77 


5. How the Oath is Administered. 
" The candidate presents himself blindfolded and naked, 
with a cable-tow about his neck, without any previous 
knowledge of what he is to do, or what is to be .required 
of him, and in this helpless condition the dreadful oath 
is administered and taken. If the candidate should 
falter or hesitate, the ruffians on each side of him, holding 
the cable-tow which is about his neck, can in a moment 
tighten the cord, and extinguish him and his complaints. 
And how many noble spirits, preferring death to degrada 
tion, have been thus dispatched, the world can never 
know ! " (From the speech of the Honorable John Cleary, 
in the Senate of the State of New York ; March 25th, 

$ 6. The Obligations of the Masonic Oath. 
"That masterpiece of men, the declaration of the 
American Independence, declares that man possesses 
certain inestimable rights, such as life, liberty, and the 
pursuit of happiness. The laws of our country guarantee 
to us the privilege of following such pursuits as we please, 
in safety, and declare it a misdemeanor for any number 
of men to conspire to destroy the lawful pursuits of any 
person. Slander is punishable by heavy fines. Morality, 
religion, and the best interests of society, forbid us to 
destroy the reputation of any person whatever. But has 
it come to this, that a set of men are combined to bring 
to strict and condign punishment citizens of a free 
republic, for no offence against the law of the land, for 
no offence of the law of God, for no offence against 
the equal rights of mankind ? What offence is recognizable 
by this band, worse than a banditti, who attack not 


only the property, but the reputation of a man ? It is the 
heinous offence of telling the world, here are a horde 
of villains, self-created, bound together by oaths to 
protect each other, right or wrong/ and that an honest 
man who disbelieves in their infernal principles, must be 
branded with infamy. Is it lawful to punish i strictly, 
and with condign punishment/ a man who has violated 
no law ? And how punish ? By pointing him out to the 
world as an unworthy and vicious vagabond. We can 
here exclaim, with emphasis, Tell it not in Gath 
publish it not in the streets of Askelon ? that in this land 
of liberty, where we are daily boasting of our superior 
advantages of equal rights, we are fostering in our bosom 
a set of men possessing the spirit of demons, who are 
sworn to make a vagabond of a man who does not 
subscribe to their hellish tenets. No matter how fair a 
character he may have sustained, no matter if the frost 
of seventy winters 7 has whitened his head in the cause 
of his Redeemer, no matter if his whole life has been one 
continued act of benevolence and good will to mankind, 
still he must be pointed out to the world, by the fingers 
of scorn, as an i unworthy and vicious vagabond. 7 Again, 
1 ~by opposing his interest. 7 Not satisfied with destroying 
his reputation, they must even oppose his interest in society. 
I had ever supposed that any individual had an undoubted 
right to advance his political or worldly interest by 
all lawful means. Has he talent and honesty sufficient, he 
may aim at filling any office under the government under 
which he lives. 

" But this blood-stained few say that, if he has violated 
any essential part of our law, we will not allow him the 
privilege of gaining any interest whatever with his fellow 


citizens ; however capable he may be, he shall gain no 
influence in society, but shall be forced to submit to become 
an outcast of society ; and, to carry this into full effect, 
the most palpable falsehoods are circulated. This has 
been verified for some time past ; but of this more anon. 
Again, i ~by destroying Ms business. Not satisfied in 
destroying his reputation, the brightest jewel in his 
possession, not satisfied with opposing his best interest 
in the world; but should he, after this, be pursuing some 
lawful vocation perhaps the only support for himself 
and family they swear to derange even this, and turn 
him out upon the world as a vagabond, both in property 
and reputation. Freedom and equality indeed ! Boast 
no more of our wholesome laws, and of the equality 
of our government ; boast no more of the 4 land of the 
brave, and the home of the free/ where every citizen can 
pursue his vocation in peace, if the combination is yet in 
the bosom of our country, pretending to be the most honor 
able and respected part of the community, and sworn to take 
the bread from the mouth of honest industry, and to turn 
a man destitute and dependent upon the cold charity of 
the world. Should he be found in the street, sustaining 
the peltings of the pitiless storm/ and asking the 
charities of the world, which are given to the meanest 
vagabond, for some scanty provision, even the crumbs 
which fall from the rich man s table/ to support for a 
short time a destitute but unfortunate family, they are 
sworn to represent him in such a view that even this 
scanty provision cannot be given him. What awful crime 
has he been guilty of, that the common acts of charity 
cannot be administered to him ? None ; no offence against 
the laws of his country whatever, has he been guilty 


of; but, on the contrary, he has ever sustained a good 
character; but he supposed, and riglitly too, that the 
obligations imposed upon him in the lodges, chapters, etc., 
were at variance with the best interests of society, 
and he boldly steps forward, and, fearless of consequences, 
tells the world what are truly the Masonic principles. For 
this he must be deprived of every privilege of citizen 
ship, made an outcast from society, and his business: 
destroyed, while many a dishonest man, guilty of crimes 
which, if strictly punished, would gain him a residence 
at state prison, is applauded and held out to the world 
as deserving their patronage ; and too often do they 
receive the patronage and good wishes of the community, 
through the influence of this dark, mysterious, midnight, 
and hellish banditti. l shame ! where is thy blush V 

" But still farther l ~by transferring his character J [that 
is, the character which they give him] * after him wher 
ever he may go. J The unhappy sufferer, satisfied that 
Masonic vengeance will destroy every hope of gaining a 
subsistence for himself and those dependent upon him, 
unless he becomes dishonest, seeks some distant part of 
the community, and there hopes to avoid the fiend-like 
malice of the brotherhood, and pursue his avocation in 
peace ; but alas ! even this consolation is not left him. They 
swear to transfer his character after him, wherever he 
may go. 7 Not satisfied with traducing his character, de 
stroying his business, and opposing his interest in the 
immediate vicinity where he has ever supported the 
character of an honest and respectable citizen, but he 
must be utterly destroyed. With malice well becoming 
the infernal spirits, they pursue their Masonic victim 
to the uttermost parts of the earth/ and destroy every 


vestige of hope. To carry this into full and complete 
effect, the council which receive him require him to give 
his name, the names of his parents, the place where he 
was born, where he was educated in fact, a. descrip 
tion of every circumstance of his life, by which he may 
be traced through the world, is registered in their bloody 
annals. No hope is left the unhappy fugitive, even in 
flight ! He must be pursued, and ruined in reputation, 
and become a vagabond and an outcast of society, and a 
mark put upon him as indelible as that put upon Cain 
by the hand of Omnipotence, through the influence of 
an ancient and honorable society. Finally, by exposing 
him to the contempt of the whole fraternity and the tvorld, 
but of our illustrious [illustrious indeed !] order, more 
especially, during his whole natural life. 7 If he has com 
mitted an error, and becomes convinced of it (no matter 
if he repent of his frailties in sincerity), no pardon 
can be granted him ; he must be held out to the scorn 
and contempt of the whole world, during the whole 
of his natural life. No consolation or inducement of 
reform can be found ; no mitigation of Masonic vengeance 
can be realized, neither in flight or repentance. 
Conduct worthy, indeed, of a society styling themselves 
ancient, honorable, and the handmaid of religion. 

" This most corrupt institution is kept up and continued 
by the worst of men. And from such continuance what 
is to be expected ? Surely, if there be any antidote, it 
must be poison ; if any remedy, it must be death. 

" For the violation of the Masonic oath the most dread 
ful punishment is invoked 5 and every subsequent degree 
not only imposes new and additional obligations, but 
is a repetition of all the preceding ones. Hence it is 


that the compunctious visitings of conscience, if any, are 
stifled by the vile oath of profanity taken by every member 
of the order: they cannot repent, because they dare not 
confess. Whatever crimes are perpetrated, the conclu 
sion is, and must be, by the perpetrators, that they had 
be tter go on than go back. Thus poor nature is per 
verted, and left without the power of repentance, or 
hope of redemption." (Speech of the Hon. J. Cleary, in 
the Senate of New York State, March 25, 1828.) 


Pronounced at Le Roy, July 4, 1828, to an assembly of nearly one thou 
sand persons. 

"We are assembled for no ordinary purpose, and to 
celebrate no common event in the history of the world. 
The object is no less than to destroy an institution which 
has secretly fastened itself upon the republic j whose 
principles are at variance with the first and unalienable 
rights of man ; an institution which, under the garb of 
morality, teaches and encourages the grossest immoralities j 
an institution professing to be the handmaid of religion, 
whose ceremonies are blasphemies and impiety, and which 
has been emphatically the school of infidelity j an institu 
tion professing to teach its members subjection to the 
laws of our country, but which has set at defiance the 
laws both of God and of man destroyed the sanctity of 
domestic life torn asunder the tender ties of humanity 
in a word, sacrilegiously trampled upon the dearest rights 
of American freemen, and, to conceal its own impious 
principles and blasphemous ceremonies, has stained its 
kingly robes with the blood of a free citizen. 

" Such, fellow citizens, is the object of our meeting. 


The event we celebrate is the birthday of a nation the 
first dawn of the polar star which shall guide all nations 
to the harbor of pure and legitimate freedom the redemp 
tion of a patriotic people from bondage : an event 
unparalleled in the history of the world. To contemplate 
the conduct of a brave and magnanimous people, who, at 
a time when monarchy and despotism were the only 
governments in existence, and the strong arm of power was 
exerted against them, in defiance of all th powers of 
kings and emperors, threw off all allegiance to tyrants, 
declaring that they were, and of right ought to be, free 
and independent, and sealed the declaration with their 
blood, and thus, upon the firm and immutable basis f 
equal rights, established a free government : we are 
assembled to contemplate this stupendous work, and lay the 
foundation for the entire overthrow of the Masonic institu 
tion. Heretofore the object has been merely to celebrate 
it as a day in which our fathers emancipated themselves 
from foreign power ; but we this day have the twofold 
purpose of reverting back to that period, and to overthrow 
all internal enemies, that we may in very deed be dis 
enthralled and redeemed from all things which impede the 
grand and triumphant march of liberty. Who, among 
us, whose heart beats not high at such prospects ? Who 
that has witnessed the surrounding gloom which has 
overspread this Western section, but now rejoices at the 
dispelling of the clouds, and the bright prospect before us ? 
As freemen, jealous of your liberties, rejoice in the antici 
pation of that day when the institution which has proudly 
bid defiance to the public opinion which has exulted 
in its own damning deeds, and insulted the majesty of 
the laws ? shall be swept from our land, and leave not a 


wreck behind. The book of her mysteries will be opened 
her hidden abominations exposed her profane altars 
will be overthrown her noisy revels will no longer 
greet our ears her covers will be opened to the gaze of 
the uninitiated : for her iniquities have called for retribu 
tive justice. The voice has not been in vain. Freemen 
have asserted their dear-bought rights, and Masonry van 
ished like mist before the sun. 

" A brief history of the eventful period we new 
celebrate, and of the characters engaged in our revolu 
tionary struggles, may not be unnecessary to nerve our 
arms in defence of those principles which our fathers so 
manfully established by their sufferings and privations. 
They were men stamped with the principles of liberty by 
the God of nature. Driven from their homes and their 
land of nativity by those who should have been their 
protectors, after suffering from the hardships of a long 
tempestuous voyage, they established themselves in this 
Western World for the enjoyment of civil and religious 
liberty, the natural birthright of man. Many were the 
sufferings and great the privations they were destined to 
experience 5 but men who, for the enjoyment of rational 
liberty, had deserted their former residence, and broken 
asunder the endearing ties of relationship, were not to 
be driven from their purpose, nor baffled in their attempts 
by such trials. They saw, in prospective, the blessings 
which their labors would purchase, if not for them, for 
future generations. This supported them in all their 
trials, and stimulated to greater exertions. Their labors 
were crowned With supcess. A new world sprang into 
existence, and that liberty they had so ardently toiled 
for, richly compensated them for their suffering. Such 


characters as the settlers of North America are worthy 
our highest admiration. Amidst the hardships and suffer 
ings of that period, they were not unmindful of their 
descendants, and the future inhabitants of the New World. 
While struggling against the rigor of a new climate, 
engaged in repelling the attacks of their savage enemies, 
they laid a broad and deep foundation for the future 
civil and religious liberty of this Western continent. 
But soon the colonies had new difficulties to encounter. 
After the savage fires were extinguished, and the 
war-whoop had ceased to arouse them, and after subduing 
the wilderness, agriculture, manufactures, and commerce 
steadily advanced. The colonies were in an unparalleled 
state of improvement, and exhibited a determination 
of actual independence. The suspicion and jealousy of 
the mother country was aroused, and such acts were 
enacted as tended to paralyze the efforts of this enter 
prising country j burdens were imposed, tyrannical laws 
enforced, and a course was pursued by the mother- 
country which had a direct tendency to bring the 
colonies into actual dependence upon, and subjection to, 
her authority. But that spirit which had subdued the 
wilderness, repelled the savage foe, which had in fact 
suffered all the difficulties of the new settlement for the 
enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, was not to be 
crushed, even in infancy, without an effort for preser 
vation. Although not all the actual settlers of this New 
World, yet the sufferings of their fathers were fresh in 
their memory, and they exhibited a determination 
not to disgrace their noble sires. Long they suffered 
from the oppression heaped upon them, before even a 
murmur of complaint was heard. Encouraged by such 


compliance, new acts of oppression were enacted, and the 
old ones enforced with new rigor. Yet still such was the 
deference they paid to England, instead of repelling it 
with force, and asserting their rights at the mouth of the 
cannon, a remonstrance against those acts, and a petition 
for redress of grievance } were the only measures pursued 
by the colonies. 

11 Supposing this deference to be servile submission that 
in their destitute situation, without arms, without an army, 
or a revenue to raise or support one, they were incapable 
of resisting their superior force j without the least re 
gard for the welfare of their lawful subjects, the mother- 
country persevered in her course, and attempted to sub 
ject the colonies, at all hazards, and make them subser 
vient to her interest alone. In this they reckoned without 
their host. The spirit of liberty had not forsaken the West 
ern World. Although they were willing to be dutiful 
subjects, they were unwilling to be slaves. The toils, 
sufferings, privations, and conflicts, which they had already 
encountered and overcome, were not forgotten ; neither 
were they to be in vain. After remonstrance and petition 
had failed, then was aroused the spirit of their sires ; then 
were they willing to hazard their all in defence of that 
freedom which they had so anxiously sought. On the 
memorable 4th of July, 1776, appealing to the Author of 
their existence and the God of armies for the rectitude of 
their conduct, they declared themselves free and indepen 
dent, pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred 
honor, to support that declaration. What an eventful 
period was that when men, bearing the impress of the 
heavenly gift of liberty, threw off all allegiance to the 
mother-country, declaring the most powerful nation in 


the world in war, enemies ; in peace, friends. The his 
tory is too well known to require from me a minute 

" A colony destitute of every means to carry on a warfare, 
without an army, arms, or ammunition, yet trusting to the 
righteousness of her cause, unfurls the banners of freedom, 
and invites her votaries to rally round her standard arid 
be free, or sacrifice their lives in the conflict. The call 
was not in vain : the angel of liberty had not taken his 
flight from the world. The patriotic sons of America 
hear the call, and leave all other concerns, and fly to the 
battle-field. The conflict for independence was long and 
arduous j but liberty, civil and religious, was the reward 
of their labors. The proud empire who refused to hear 
the remonstrance of her children, was compelled to ac 
knowledge them of age, and capable of governing them 
selves. The conflict over, and the din of battle no more 
heard within our borders, with rapid strides America 
emerged from her former obscurity, and took her stand 
among the nations of the earth. Although scattering 
clouds at times obscured the political horizon, they were 
soon dispelled, and liberty, with its cheering rays, dis 
pensed its blessings upon this patriotic people. The arts 
and sciences dispensed their rich blessings. Manufactures 
were encouraged, the fruits of the soil amply repaid the 
husbandman for his labors, and every sea was soon visited 
with the banner of the United States. Her settlements 
were extended, and the wilderness budded and blos 
somed like the rose ; our country grew in strength, and 
foretold her future greatness. England, retaining her former 
jealousy justly fearing she might diminish the lustre of 
her crown saw the example she already set to other 


nations to throw off allegiance to sovereigns and be froe 
basely insulted our flag, and infringed upon the dearest 
rights of Americans. The impressment of American sea 
men into the service of a foreign power was, and justly 
too, considered a sufficient cause to again appeal to arms 
for the protection of her privileges. The din of battle 
again resounded through our land. The horrors of war 
were again experienced; but the proud monarch was 
again compelled to acknowledge the supremacy of Ameri 
can arms, and to respect the American flag. The honor 
of America was advanced by this appeal to arms, and the 
just rights of the United States were recognized. Our 
star-spangled banner was w r aved in triumph, and all nations 
of the world compelled to respect it. Peace was again 
restored, and the visible prosperity of the republic ad 
vanced with increased rapidity. 

u While the patriots of the revolution and the sages of 
America were resting in security, proud of the trium 
phant march of free principles and equal rights, supposing 
the free institutions of America were fixed upon those 
inimitable principles which the revolution of empires could 
never effect, a secret society was slowly, but with a steady 
and determined step, possessing itself with all the power 
and danger of monarchs. Although proverbially jealous 
of their liberty, and ever watchful of open enemies and 
foreign powers, still they suffered a secret combination to 
increase in strength, numbers, and power, until it had 
become the most powerful combination in the world. 
Secret societies of different kinds have at various periods 
attempted to arise, but the powerful voice of public 
opinion has stopped their progress on the very threshold 
of their existence. A society composed of the veterans 


of the Revolution, whose professed object was to con 
tinue those offices of kindness which had been so often 
administered in their struggle for independence, and keep 
in remembrance those trying scenes, created such jeal 
ousy, and called forth the energies of the sages to such 
an extent, that the society soon dwindled away. Although 
public opinion was so strong as to stop the progress of 
such a society, composed of members who had been tried 
in the hour of adversity, and had not been found wanting 
men of sterling integrity, and unyielding patriotism, yet 
the Masonic institution has so artfully concealed its real 
principles, that it has extended itself over the Union, 
increased its members to an alarming number, accumulated 
funds to an enormous amount, possessing means to learn its 
enemies, and power to punish them. Although the produc 
tion of a foreign power, and deriving its authority from 
foreign lords, still the American republic has suffered it to 
increase to its present gigantic size, until they openly 
boast of possessing sufficient power of choosing the 
officers and directing the government of the United States. 
So powerful does this society consider itself, that its mem 
bers unblushingly tell the citizens of America : * You have 
a secret society existing among you, whose power and influ 
ence is so great that the government itself cannot put it 
down ; nay, the world in arms cannot suppress it. This 
is no picture of fancy ; neither are the shades too highly 
colored. It is their own insulting language to freemen, 
openly declared and published to the world. To show dis 
tinctly what they conceive to be the power and influence of 
their society, permit me to extract from a public address 
delivered by one of their devoted subjects, on one of 
their festive days. After describing its pretended origin, 


and its vast increase of number, he exclaims : f What is 
Masonry now ? It is powerful ! It comprises men of 
rank, wealth, office, and talent, in power and out of power, 
and that in almost every place where power is of any impor 
tance, and it comprises among the other class of comunm- 
ity to the lowest, in large numbers, and capable of being 
directed by the efforts of others, so as to have the force 
of concert throughout the civilized world. They are dis 
tributed, too, with the means of knowing each other, and 
the means of keeping secret, and the means of cooperat 
ing in the desk, in the legislative hall, on the bench, in 
every gathering of men of business, in every party of 
pleasure, in every enterprise of government, in every 
domestic circle, in peace and in war, among its enemies 
and friends, in one place as well as another. So powerful, 
indeed, is it at this time, that it fears nothing from vio 
lence, either public or private, for it has every means to 
learn it in season, to counteract, defeat, and punish it. 
The power of the Pope has been sometimes friendly, and 
sometimes hostile. Suppose now, the opposition of either 
should arouse Masons to redress its grievances. The 
Jesuits, with their cunning, might call on the holy brother 
hood, and the holy brotherhood on the holy alliance, and 
they might all come, too, and in vain. For it is too late 
to talk of the propriety of continuing or suppressing 
Masonry, after the time to do so has gone by ; so, good 
or bad, the world must take it as it is. Think of it, 
laugh at it, hate it, or despise it, still it is not only what 
I told you, but it will continue to be and the world iu 
arms cannot stop it a powerful institution. ? * 

* Oration of Brainard, before Union Lodge, New London, Connecticut, 
June 24, 1825. 


"Such, fellow citizens, is the description of the influence 
and power of the Masonic institution by one of its orators, 
and published to a public of freemen. An institution 
whose members have been supported and protected by 
the laws of this republic, until it assumes its present 
enormous power, and now bids defiance to the government 
which has fostered them in its bosom, and attempted to 
give the deadly sting. Shall it be said that in a free 
government, which professes to distribute justice equally 
upon all, whether high or low, rich or poor, we have an 
institution which, in the language of a bravado, boasts 
that its strength is so great that even the government 
itself is unable to put it down ; that it is too late to talk 
of the propriety of continuing or suppressing Masonry^; so, 
good or bad, the world must take it as it is ? Yes, fellow 
citizens, we have an institution within our borders, and 
in the midst of us, composed of citizens of a free govern 
ment, which proudly boasts that the Jesuits, with all their 
cunning, the Pope, the combined force of European mon- 
archs, all concentrated nay, the world in arms, cannot 
stop its progress that it will continue to be what it 
now is : a powerful institution. 

tl Freemen of America ! have you been faithful guardi 
ans of your liberties, to permit this institution to assume 
such powers ? Are you now faithful sentinels, and will you 
allow this society to make farther progress ? This boast of 
theirs was not an idle tale, told to amuse a few fanatical 
hearers, but was a true and faithful portrait of the power 
Masons actually believed their institution to possess. 
This declaration was made and published to the world in 
1825, when it was unknown their force would require 
concentration to possess the force of concert throughout 


the civilized world to their proud institution. The dis 
astrous events of September, 1826, show conclusively this 
was not the fancy of one wild-brained member, but the 
opinion of the whole Masonic body. They learned its 
enemy, and exercised the power to counteract, defeat, 
and punish it. The magazine of Niagara tells the tale of 
their punishment; but may heaven avert the disastrous 
event of their counteracting all its enemies. A brief his 
tory of this institution, together with its professed objects, 
and a delineation of its true principles, may not at this 
time be unappropriate. To deceive its votaries, and allure 
the unsuspecting into its snares, this institution attempts 
to trace its origin to the earliest period of existence ; that 
it was the gift of God to man ; that its regular organiza 
tion was executed by men inspired of heaven to amelio 
rate the condition of man, and smooth his path through 
his probationary j existence. Some assert it to be the 
handmaid of religion, given as an assistant to point man 
to his duty here, and a sure way of gaining admittance to 
the abode of happiness, or, Masonically speaking, to the 
Grand Lodge above. They have heaped a mountain of 
pretensions upon it, and offer no proofs to support their 
assertions but Masonic traditions, which are too absurd 
to be listened to in moments of reflection. Nay, so absurd 
are many of their traditional histories, that the greatest 
devotee* to Masonry has been compelled, in his public 
addresses, to pronounce them as absurd, contradictory, 
and ridiculous ; so much so, that the candidate can, from 
that Holy Book upon which she requires her members 
to swear allegiance, prove them to be deceptions of the 
basest kind. As well, says he, might we believe that 
*See Dalcha s Oration, p, 43, Sovereign Inspector-General. 


tlie sun travels round the earth, instead of the earth round 
the sun, as to believe in all the incongruities which 
are taught in the lodges [symbolic degrees]. Yet so 
successfully has she trumpeted forth her own praise, so 
completely has she shrouded herself in mystery, that a 
majority of her subjects have been last to ascertain her 
real origin ; and for that very reason suppose she must be 
ancient, and have claimed as her supporters the kings of 
Israel, the prophets, saints, and apostles, for no other 
possible reason than Masonry has so instructed them. 
Masonry, it is true, is ancient, as the laying of brick and 
stone to form a habitation for man j but the supporters of 
speculative Freemasonry despise so humble an origin 
for their mistress, and assert the word from which their 
institution derives its name, means those initiated into 
the sacred mysteries.* The true history of Masonry is 
this : A society of honest mechanics was formed, with 
established rules to govern themselves in contracting for 
work, and also for governing their apprentices and jour 
neymen, or fellow-crafts. Every symbol and article of 
clothing of the present day show this conclusively. 
Whence do they derive the origin of their apron, trowels, 
plumb-lines, gavel, etc., if not from operative masons? 
What do thousands of their members know of the techni 
cal terms of this laboring class of men, such as the entab 
lature, the plinth, the die, and surbase ? In the mouth 
of operative masons they have an important meaning j 
but in the mouth of a member of speculative Freemasonry; 
who is initiated into the sacred mystery, they mean 

"In the years 1716 and 1717 an attempt was success 
* Smith, p, 35. " Hale s Speculative Masourj," p. 15. 


fully made to convert this system into speculative Free 
masonry j and when, at length, many of different trades 
were admitted, they raised it above its vulgar origin, and 
attempted to load it with pretensions of honor and anti 
quity ; the records and constitution were committed to the 
flames, that they might not give a lie to their assertions. 
Three degrees only were then invented, and these were, ia 
1720, passed into the different nations having communica 
tion with Great Britain. At this time her historians are 
capable of giving the name of the Grand Master, the date of 
the warrant, to a year, and the place where it was sent. Do 
they give the dates of warrants, or the operation of this 
society, previous to this 1 They are as silent as the grave 
from the days of King Solomon down to 1717. Could 
they not have given the history, with the same accuracy, 
previous ? The first introduction of Masonry into America 
was by a warrant granted by the Right Honorable and 
Most Worshipful Anthony Lord Viscount Montague, Grand 
Master, etc., dated April 30, 1733; and the first lodge 
ever held in America was in Boston, July, 1733. This 
lodge granted ten warrants for other lodges in different 
parts of the colonies. Although Masonic history was care 
ful to give the days in which the lodges met in after 
years, yet her historians give no account of her progress 
for a number of years. In 1755 a grant was given by 
another individual to hold a lodge in the same place of 
the former 5 so much was the society in its infancy at this 
time that no established rule or organization was formed, 
and an infringement was here made upon their established 
customs. The next meeting of the society which they 
give an account of, was in December, 17G9, when, 
the historian asserts, was celebrated the festival of the 


evangelist, in due form. A period of thirty-six years has 
elapsed since the formation in America of the society 
claiming relationship with the apostles, ere they thought 
of commemorating the birthday of their Christian patron. 
This is the first celebration of that day, within my know 
ledge, on record. Little or no mention is made of the 
progress of light, until 1777, when a new lodge was 
formed. In so little repute was the society held in that day, 
that it fell into disrepute : once, no less than three regu 
lar formations are mentioned. But in 1783 a< committee 
was appointed to draft resolutions explanatory of the 
power and authority of the Grand Lodge. Thus we find 
five thousand seven hundred and thirty-three years after 
its pretended existence, a society claiming Solomon, king 
of Israel, for their Grand Master, and under whose patron 
age a regular organization was formed, a society which 
they pretend has continued the same in every age j 
whose regular or constitutional powers were not defined : 
its powers were now established, and Masonry slowly 
extended itself. 

" Until the nineteenth century Masonry made but little 
progress in America ; but then is recorded its rapid spread 
over the United States. Not a village could make its 
appearance in the wilderness but some Mason would 
establish a lodge, to give himself and brethren an undue 
advantage over the common citizens. Although the 
Masonic historians, with minuteness, relate the particulars 
of the formation of the first lodge in America, giving the 
date of the first warrant, and the name of the individual 
granting the same, with all his Masonic and civil titles, ho 
gives the name of no one who stands as godfather to a 
chapter. No warrant was ever granted by any power to 


hold a chapter in America. The Masonic history of this 
degree in this country is very short. It commences by 
saying, Previous to 1797 no Grand Chapter of Royal 
Arch Masons was ever organized in America : previously 
a competent number of companions, under the sanction 
of a Master s warrant, exercised the right of Royal Arch 

"It cannot be unknown to the public that a Master s 
warrant cannot authorize work (as Masons say) beyond 
three degrees. Yet a number of men, under the sanction 
of such a warrant, exercise the authority of conferring 
four more degrees than their warrant authorizes. Can 
it be possible that degrees founded in the days of Solomon, 
which in its tradition traces events which occurred at the 
building of the temple, which contains important secrets 
hid from the world for the period of seven hundred years, 
had no regular form of government, no proper manner of 
conferring its favors ? The whole truth is, these degrees 
are an innovation on what Masons call ancient Freemasonry. 
Its introduction called forth animadversions from the warm 
est supporter of Masonry. The first formation, I believe, 
was of Horodim Chapter, in 1787. Mr. Preston, in his 
first editions, makes no mention of any degrees above the 
Master, but in his later he mentions the formation of this 
chapter, and expresses fears for the consequences of f some 
modern innovations in Masonry. Hutchinson s t Spirit of 
Freemasonry/ published in 1794, treats of three degrees 
only ; l Ahimon Rezon/ published in London, 1764, treats of 
three degrees ; l Jachin and Boaz/ published in 1770, gives 
a true history of all Masonry then in existence, but is silent 
concerning any degrees above the Master s. The book of 
4 Constitutions of Massachusetts/ edition of 1792, which 


professes to give a complete history of Freemasonry, both 
in England and Massachusetts, makes no mention of any 
degree in either country above the lodge of Master 
Masons ; Laurie s history of Freemasonry gives no degree 
above the Master s, but says in the constitution of the 
Grand Lodge of Scotland that all ancient St. John Masonry 
is contained within the three degrees ; Smith s i Use and 
Abuse of Masonry declares the same thing j the union of 
the Grand Lodge of England with the dissenters, ratified 
in London, 1803, declares all ancient Freemasonry con 
tained within the lodges, of Master Masons ; the * Free 
mason s Library, 7 written since, declares there are but four 
degrees of Masonry. Mr. Cole, the writer, says : i This 
opinion accords not only with the sentiments of the oldest 
but best-informed Masons with whom I have conversed, 
but is agreeable to written and printed documents in my 
possession. The following degrees, which have been manu 
factured within a few years past, are merely elucidatory of 
the second, third, and fourth degrees. He then enumer 
ates all the degrees conferred by a chapter. 

" At the time these authors wrote, Masonry was so much 
in its infancy, the most unblushing writers on Masonry 
dare not claim the degrees conferred in a chapter as 
belonging to Freemasonry ; but as they had deceived the 
world in the origin of the three degrees, their writers soon 
had the effrontery to claim the highest degrees as ancient. 
We soon found them enumerating the degrees of Masonry 
as high as thirty-three, and in 1816 they have increased 
as high as forty-three, and at this dav^ they attempt to 
claim ninety-six regular degrees of Masonry, and all of 
them founded in the .days of Solomon j and some of them go 
back to the antediluvian days ; without finding any mention 


of them until 1786, or acknowledged as belonging to their 
system until 1797. The truth is, too many of what they 
call the vulgar, and European princes, and American 
aristocrats, could not meet upon a level with the vulgar 
crowd j and in later days the managers have found it to 
increase the Masonic funds, and, consequently, their own 
interest. Such, fellow citizens, is the brief but correct 
history of Freemasonry. 

11 If this society has been presumptuous in claiming for 
herself antiquity, no less effrontery has she exhibited in 
her professed objects and avowed privileges. Her mem 
bers state that the principles of speculative Freemasonry 
have the same co-eternal and unshaken foundation ; con 
tain and inculcate the same truth, and propose the same 
ultimate end, as the doctrines of Christianity, taught by 
Divine revelation. The pious will embrace it as an 
auxiliary to human happiness, and a guide to a blessed 
immortality. 7 l Here [that is, in speculative Freemasonry] 
1 we view the coincidence of principle and design between 
the Christian scheme and speculative Freemasonry, with 
that pleasing admiration which satisfies inquiry, and clearly 
proves our system based on the rock of eternal ages. 
Here [in a lodge room] we are taught all the combined 
and unspeakable excellencies of the Omnipotent Creator ; 
to adore that Divinity whose goodness and mercy are so 
astonishingly displayed in the salvation of man. i No 
moral character is regarded by the Divine Being with 
greater complaisance than a Mason. 7 i Masonry preaches 
the eternal world manifested in the flesh. Masonry 
embraces the subject-matter of Divine economy/ Ma 
sonry presents to the mind the co-equal and co-eternal 
existence of the adorable Trinity. Such are the princi- 


pies and avowed objects of Freemasonry. It is by such 
palpable falsehoods and great pretensions she has allured 
thousands into her deceitful snare. If such are, indeed, its 
principles, who would not be a Mason ? Who would not 
belong to a society whose members are regarded by the 
Divine Being with the greatest complacency ? It is with 
such pretensions as these she has deceived the public, and 
been permitted to extend her dominions. So powerful 
have been her bonds, and such influence has she exerted, 
that few in any former period of her existence have dared 
to deny her authority, or lay naked her hidden enormities. 
An opposition to Masonry by any number of her members 
would have proved their inevitable ruin. She arrogated 
to herself the privilege of publishing her enemies to the 
world as unworthy and vicious vagabonds ; of deranging 
their business ; and her influence has been so great, that 
she has been able to do it effectually. Some few have 
attempted to divulge her true character to disrobe the 
harlot, and expose her native ugliness to the common 
gaze ; but dearly have they paid for their temerity. But 
the strong bonds which bound them to this moloch are 
broken. Men, trusting to the free institutions of their 
country for support, have dared to brave Masonic ven 
geance, and expose the secret enormities of this dark con 
spiracy against the liberties of man. She has filled the 
measure of her iniquities ; her crimes are of a scarlet 
dye ; they have roused insulted freemen to investigate her 
principles j she must pass the ordeal of public opinion. 
If her principles are compatible with our free institutions, 
she can still exist j but should she prove to be a hypocrite, 
a base dissembler if in her secret places she generates 
the principles of discord, sanctions the crimes of her 


votaries, exercises an undue influence in the councils of 
the nation, she must fall, and receive the contempt of an 
insulted and much-abused public. 

11 That Freemasonry inculcates such principles as have 
been quoted, the most credulous cannot but believe, should 
they investigate one single moment. The same authors 
who so shamefully say she l is in body and substance the 
whole duty of man as a moral being, and its precepts equally 
sacred and equally precious with Christianity, * that it 
inculcates the deep mysteries of the Divine Word, in whom 
all the fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily, say, i the wan 
dering Arab, the civilized Chinese, and the native Ameri 
can, the rigid observer of the Mosaic law, the followers of 
Mahomet, and professors of Christianity, are all connected 
by the mystic union in one indissoluble band of affection. 7 
How absurd that the Jew should meet in good fellowship 
with a society which teaches that in Christ the fulness of 
the Godhead dwelt bodily ; that the wandering Arab should 
unite with men in precepts equally sacred and precious 
with Christianity j and how delighted must the native of the 
forest be with all these heavenly principles taught in the 
Holy Bible, which has been to him a sealed book, whose 
pages of inspiration he never understood, and in whose 
precepts he never was instructed. Masonry becomes all 
things to all men, says a late author. c This is her true 
character of the harlot : she loves everybody dearly, and 
him with whom she cohabits, supremely j she also reveres 
the Bible in America, the Koran in Turkey, and the 
Shaster in India, as equally worthy of acceptation, and 
revealing the whole duty of man : she possesses the re 
markable quality of being the same thing and its opposite to 
any extent required. Instead of hearing within the lodge 


the warning voice and the duty of man explained, often 
are heard the noisy bacchanalian revels, occasioned by too 
frequent calls from labor to refreshment. The true 
principles of Freemasonry are not found in her Monitor, 
neither are they published by her orators. These are 
prepared for the public, who are never admitted behind the 
scenes to view the actors in their common apparel. They 
consist solely in her senseless ceremonies and unhallowed 
obligation. To these, then, we appeal. Secret societies 
of any description should awaken the suspicion of freemen 
living under a government whose acts are open to the 
scrutiny of all its subjects ; no society, however limited it 
may be, should be suffered to be regularly organized with 
regular and stated meetings, whose objects are unknown. 
Such societies are not the product of republican soil. They 
are the legitimate offsprings of tyranny. The former reign 
of darkness and despotism were effected by means of secret 
societies. To secret societies can be distinctly traced the 
conspiracies which have convulsed Europe. When a society 
becomes so regularly organized as to defy the scrutiny of 
government, the public should demand an investigation 
of its principles. The Masonic society has become regu 
larly organized, possessing one grand governing power 
which extends over the whole United States, with stated 
periods of meetings j has elected its officers, who hold them 
for seven years; and its real object is unknown to the 
public. It is also divided into smaller governments, 
whose authority extends over every part of the State in 
which the same is held, and again subdivided into lesser, 
or auxiliary societies, who exercise authority over its own 
immediate members, but all subject to the controlling power 
of the general grand society. Thus there is one grand 


connecting link existing from a simple lodge to a Grand 
Chapter, Encampment and Consistory, all pursuing one 
grand object, and that object unknown to all but those 
initiated into their sublime mysteries. The members of 
this society are found in every important station in the 
Union : in the legislative hall, on the bench, in all the 
executive departments ; in fact, distributing among and 
commingling with us in all the scenes of life, and all of 
them, in their own language, i capable of being directed 
by the efforts of others. With such an organization, its 
officers regularly chosen, from the i Most Puissant Sover 
eign Inspector General/ ( Deputy Sovereign of Sovereigns/ 
down to the simple Worshipful Master and Wardens/ 
they possess to an alarming degree the power to destroy 
any government, however pure or well fortified. Although 
a small minority, yet with such a powerful combination, 
such facilities to concert its plans of operation, no power 
could stop the progress of such a conspiracy. In their 
own language, the * Jesuits, with all their cunning, might 
call on the Holy Brotherhood, and the Holy Brotherhood 
on the Holy Alliance, and they all might come too, and in 
vain, for the world in arms cannot stop it. 

"Such is the power of the Masonic institution, unassist 
ed by other means than the regular distribution of power. 
But the danger increases tenfold when, in addition to 
her secret meetings, she binds her members to silence, 
under no less penalty than an ignominious and inhuman 
death, to forever conceal her dark conspiracies from the 
world. She possesses a mystic language by which she can 
communicate all her wants, and make known her objects, 
unknown to, and unperceived by, those unacquainted with 
her mysteries. Whence the necessity of an unknown 


language in a government providing for all the honest 
wants of its subjects ? Knaves and villains only need a 
mystic language. Honest men need them not. But 
Masonry possesses them, and it is one of her grand prin 
ciples and most powerful engines to carry into effect her 
secret and unwarrantable acts, She also requires her 
subjects to swear they will obey all regular signs or sum 
mons, given, handed, sent, or thrown them by the hand 
of a brother, or from the body of a lodge or chapter, and 
conform to all her rules and regulations, Should she re 
quire her summons sent, she binds her members to perform 
this duty, should they in its performance have to do it 
bareheaded, barefooted, and on frosty ground. Thus dis 
tributed, and possessing such powers, no government can 
be safe, should they arise and unite their strength to 
overthrow it. Should her plans be concerted, and require 
the aid of her subjects, they must obey all her summons, 
no matter what may be its import, and arouse the ener 
gies of the brethren to bring them to the field of battle, 
or act as occasion might require. They are sworn to 
sound the alarm, to notify all, should they do it barefoot 
and on frosty ground. Provision is made in their code 
for the most extreme case that can possibly arise. So 
distributed are her members that her whole force can re 
ceive the summons, and concentrate before the government 
can receive the alarm. But to cap the climax of Masonic 
government, she requires her subjects to solemnly swear to 
conceal the secrets of a companion, murder and treason 
not excepted. What facilities are here offered to the 
ambitious! What safeguard can avert the impending 
tempest? Without the least danger, a member of this 
infernal institution can propose to citizens of this free 


government schemes of treason, should he do it with a 
charge of secrecy 5 for, however disposed to support our 
free institution, his hearers must remain forever silent, 
their lips must be forever hermetically sealed. No punish 
ment can be awarded to so daring villains, should they 
confide the secrets only to worthy companions. No 
government was ever formed so powerful and well organ 
ized for plans of operation. Possessing such means, well 
may she bid defiance to the i world in arms ! 

" In this society can be distinctly traced the spirit of the 
Illuminati, and from her were lighted those firebrands 
of discord which ravaged France in her revolution, and 
extinguished all rational liberty. What security can 
we possibly possess in our government with such a 
society ? Should she be suffered to increase in the same 
ratio for a few more years that she has for the last ten 
or fifteen, from her dark caverns and midnight conclaves 
would issue some despotic and ambitious Caesar, \vlio, with 
widespread desolation, would destroy the labor of our 
fathers ; and our country, instead of the land of liberty 
and happiness, would become the oppressed land of 
Masonic tyranny. If such are not her objects, why does 
she guard herself with such impenetrable barriers ? Does 
the benign Gospel, whose handmaid she styles herself, re 
quire such secrecy and such impious oaths ? Does the 
dispensation of charity require such regulations ? Does 
the propagation of morality require such aid ? No j the 
only reason for her shrouding herself in such impenetrable 
darkness and mystery is, because her i deeds are evil, 
therefore she chooses darkness rather than light. The 
only safety we y can possess consists in the patriotism of 
her leading members, and this has been the great bulwark 


of her defence. But has she not ambitious aspirants 
registered in the archives of her lodge I Have we not 
seen the man who has been elected to the second office in 
the gift of a free people, attempt the overthrow of our 
government ? What security, then, is this ? In some 
desperate moment, smarting under wounded defeat, some 
powerful and ambitious man may survey the materials, 
and concentrate the force of the institution, to obtain the 
object of his ambition. It is too powerful an engine to 
be left in the hands of any man or set of men j and our 
own safety, our allegiance to our common country, the ex 
perience of past ages, all unite in one loud appeal to the 
freemen of America for the total annihilation of speculative 
Freemasonry. Should our country, however, escape the 
alarming danger of overthrow from this society, she in 
culcates those of a lesser grade, which effectually infringe 
upon our dearest rights as citizens of the elective franchise. 
By requiring her members to swear, as she does in 
some chapters, to l vote for a companion before any other 
of equal qualifications/ to require, under the sanction of a 
barbarous oath, to always support his political preferment 
in opposition to any other/ she places her own chosen 
children in every station of our government ; and they, 
after obtaining complete control of the executive, legis 
lative, and judicial departments, must and will dispense 
their patronage upon the members of the institution, 
which forms a complete Masonic government, a gov 
ernment within a government. T.his secret influence 
exercised in our elections is a source of great corrup 
tion, and attended with great danger to the government 
itself. The firm support, the main pillar of a republi 
can government, is the free choice of its rulers given to 


the electors. But if our rulers are to be made in a lodge- 
room, and all the brotherhood bound on oath to support 
such candidates, then indeed is the choice taken from the 
people, and eventually the overthrow of the free institu 
tions will be the inevitable consequence. When her obli 
gations require her subjects to assist each other so far as 
to extricate them from any difficulty, whether right or * 
wrong/ then are the fountains of justice polluted, and the 
crime becomes sullied by Masonic influence. We have 
no security for the faithful administration of justice, while 
such obligations are administered and adhered to. A felon 
may be arraigned for an offence against the laws of his 
country : should he belong to this society, no punishment 
can be awarded him adequate to his crime. Such has been 
the influence of Masonry, that few jurors have been em 
panelled without finding at least one Mason upon it. 
No matter if a Masonic juror has taken an oath a i true 
verdict to find, according to evidence/ he has taken a 
Masonic obligation, paramount to his civil one, and of much 
more horrid import, to shield the culprit, whether right or 
wrong; but, should this fail him, he gives the grand hailing 
sign to the executive, and the sword of justice is averted. 
Neither have we any security for the impartial administra 
tion of justice between man and man. A Masonic juror is 
bound to aid a brother, whether right or wrong, and 
the sanctity of a witness s oath to tell the truth, the 
whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 7 is lost in his pre 
vious oath to conceal the secrets of a companion, i mur 
der and treason not cxcepted. 1 Such obligations have a 
direct tendency to promote crimes of the deepest dye. It 
emboldens the criminal to commit greater crimes by the 
facilities afforded him in this oath of secrecy. Few per- 


sons individually commit crimes of great magnitude, and 
fear of exposure in ordinary cases would ..deter him from 
communicating his designs ; but in his present case he 
runs no risk. Should he require an accomplice, he finds 
a Master Mason, he confides his intended crime to him, 
with perfect knowledge he is bound by an oath to conceal 
the same, should it be less than murder and treason. Should 
it exceed these, he seeks a companion Royal Arch Mason. 
He communicates his intended purpose to him, requires 
his aid ; perhaps he finds a companion who will not stoop 
to commit such acts ; he readily answers, Do as you 
choose, but rcollect you are bound to keep the secrets of 
a companion, murder and treason not excepted. 7 It 
necessarily familiarizes the young novitiate with the 
relation of the most horrid crimes, and however honest he 
may be when first caught in her snares, from the recital 
of actual crimes, he is impressed with a belief that his 
oath of secrecy forbids his communicating the same. It 
emboldens him to commit crimes. Is it uncharitable to 
suppose that many of the corruptions which have been 
committed by our lawgivers have been done by the mem 
bers of this society, under the sanction of Masonic obliga 
tions ? The same facilities are offered for her subjects to 
effect their purposes in the legislative hall as in the com 
mission of crime ; and there are but too many who are 
ready to accept of the inducements she holds forth. In 
ordinary cases, the offer or acceptance of a bribe would be 
attended with the fear of detection ; but in this case there 
is none, unless some members should consider their obliga 
tion to their country paramount to all others. An account 
of this kind is now registered on the journals of Congress, 
when a bribe was offered a member to assist in some 


moneyed concerns. This bribe was offered under the sanc 
tion of Masonry. The words were as follows : * I give 
it you as a man and a Mason, and hope you belong to that 
society. 7 If one case can be found where the exposition 
was made because the person was not a Mason, or consid 
ered his duty to his country of more consequence than 
that to Masonry, have we not reason to fear that too many 
of the mysterious acts of our lawgivers spring from the 
same corrupt source ? Too much facility is offered for 
bribery and corruption in so important a branch of oui 
government. Fellow citizens ! these are the true princi 
ples of Masonry, disrobed of all her pretensions. Is not a 
society, bound by such ties, and possessing such power, 
which has exercised such influence, of great danger to our 
republican institutions ? Are you not bound by your love 
of country, and by the blood of martyrs who fell in our 
glorious revolution, to take decided measures to stop the 
progress, and entirely overthrow the society of speculative 
Freemasonry ? Should you need other facts to stimulate 
you to such a glorious act, review the bloody scenes of 
September, 1826. If you are deaf to the voice of reason, 
let those transactions, added to the conduct of this society 
since that period, arouse you to exterminate this hydra- 
headed monster. You have seen the crime of kidnapping, 
arson, and murder, committed by members of this society, 
and under such circumstances as leave no doubt they 
were the legitimate productions of their laws. You have 
seen the public press, the palladium of liberty, silent as 
the grave on these important subjects. You have seen 
those guilty of such acts screened from punishment through 
Masonic influence. You have seen your fellow citizens 
who attempted to investigate this transaction, and raised 


their voice against them, visited with vindictive and male 
volent persecution by this society. All this you have seen ; 
and are you not prepared to act on such an occasion ? A 
fearful gloom has indeed been spread around, but the pros 
pects are brightened. Freemen have aroused to assert 
their rights. They have indeed boasted that the govern 
ment, the world in arms, is unable to suppress Masonry. 
This may be so ; but public opinion, stronger than the 
government itself, is able to accomplish this glorious work. 
We wish not to array the world in arms against them. It 
must be a bloodless victory. Their principles are now 
divulged. This day commences a revelation of all their 
unhallowed orgies. Men, trusting to the protection of an 
intelligent community, have commenced, and will disclose, 
the utmost secrets of that blood-stained institution. To 
secure victory, it is necessary that these revelations be 
promulgated to the uttermost bounds of our country. A 
knowledge of the facts is all that is requisite to assert the 
rights of freemen. 

" Finally, fellow citizens, in view of all that you have 
seen, in view of the scenes of violence and iniquity, and 
of the lawless usurpation of your rights, which have passed 
before your eyes, or come to your knowledge, act as free 
men ; fulfil your duties as the possessors of this soil, which 
was once drenched with the blood of your patriotic 
sires. Look upon the remnant of this invincible band now 
before you, whose hands, once nerved with almost super 
human strength, are now trembling with age 5 whose 
heads, now whitened with years, yet blooming with honors, 
are fit objects of your veneration. Look upon them, and 
read in their wrinkled brows, as well as in the history of 
their bravery, the monition to act as becomes their off- 


spring ; to conduct in such a manner that, ere their bones 
are laid by the side of their compatriots, they may 
behold the joyful earnest of their country s greatness. 
Reflect that not their eyes alone, but those who have gone 
before them, are upon you. Go to your homes j behold 
the companions of your bosoms, and the offspring of 
your affections, and remember that they, too, are involved 
in the welfare of our land j and let a father s care and a 
husband s love inspire your devotion to your country s 
cause. Thus let us reflect, thus let us act ; and heaven 
will bless our endeavors, shall crown our land with bless 
ing, and earth shall know no nobler clime than ours." 

7. Address to the People of the State of Neiv York. 

u Fellow citizens : The institution of speculative Free 
masonry has existed in these United States ever since the 
formation of our government. Assuming to be the patron 
of science, the protector of morality, and the handmaid 
of religion, it has been suffered to exist without question 
or suspicion. Its votaries have ever been enthusiastic 
and extravagant in praise of its character, principles, and 
tendency. It is, in their own language, a system not only 
beautiful, but divine whose principles are the purest 
morality ; whose objects are to inculcate universal benevo 
lence and good-will among the brethren j and whose 
operations have been an extended system of holy and 
healing charity. It is calculated, they say ; to enlighten 
the ignorant, to reform the bad, to protect the weak, 
and to relieve the necessitous. We have seen many good 
men, venerable sages, worthy patriots, and pious divines, 
belonging to this institution, and have suffered ourselves 
to be lulled into security by the impression that such men 


could not lend their countenance to a.n association whose 
principles were dangerous to society, government, or 
religion. Their principles have thus been taken upon 
trust, and the institution has been suffered to exist in a 
community prone to suspect that, where all is hot open, 
all is not honest. It is, perhaps, a singular fact, that in 
a free government like ours, a government of opinion, 
operating upon a people jealous of their rights, and pecu 
liarly suspicious and jealous of any secret influence, and 
of anything that could bear the semblance of an insidious 
encroachment upon their liberties, such an institution 
should have been permitted to grow and increase in 
strength, without subjecting itself to those investigations 
which the nature and spirit of our government are so 
well calculated to encourage. Other secret societies have, 
after a brief existence, been frowned into oblivion, as 
dangerous to a free government. It is owing, doubtless, 
to the circumstances above set forth, and to the fact that 
many whom we esteem as our fathers, brothers, and connec 
tions, are members of this institution, that speculative Free 
masonry has not shared the fate of other secret societies, 
Some weight, too, may be attached to the fact that most 
men of influence and political eminence, those who are 
wont to take the lead in affairs that concern the govern 
ment, have themselves been high officials in the institu 
tion, and of course interested in its support. But, whatever 
the cause may have been, it is certain that Freemasonry 
has been suffered to exist, and to extend itself in this 
free government, and that without question or inquiry. 
Addressing itself to the cupidity, the ambition, the vanity, 
or the curiosity of individuals, it has gone on increasing 
like the fame of the classic poet, until it has become wide- 


spread in its influence, extended in its operations, and, 
in its multiplied mystic ramifications, it has become 
interwoven with the very frame and fabric of society, 
and secretly connected with all our institutions. A cool 
observer cannot but look back with astonishment, and 
see how secretly and covertly, and at the same time how 
rapidly, it has spread itself through this Union how 
speciously it has insinuated and connected itself with 
almost every interest, either of a private or public nature. 
In the foundation of every public building we have beheld 
the interference of these mystic artisans with their symbolic 
insignia; in every public procession we have seen their 
flaunting banners, their muslin robes, and mimic crowns. 
In the executive of the State we have beheld a man 
holding the highest office in the order bound to his 
brethren by secret ties, of whose nature, strength, and char 
acter, we knew nothing. We have seen our legislature 
controlled by majorities bound to the fraternity by the 
same ties. The ermine of justice we have seen worn by 
men whose brows were decorated with the gilded mitre 
of the order in their midnight and secret meetings. We 
have seen others of this mystic tie empanelled as jurors 
to hold the balance of justice between a brother and a 
stranger to the order, and that brother capable of com 
municating with such, his judges, by a mystic and sym 
bolic language unintelligible to his adversary. We cannot 
now but be astonished that so much should have passed, 
and that no danger should have been apprehended. Per 
haps it may have occasionally occurred to some minds 
more than ordinarily watchful, that some designing men 
may have made use of the order as a ladder to their ambi 
tion ; that more than an ordinary share of official patronage 


was distributed among the brethren ; that the even balance 
of justice may, in some instances, have been made to 
incline its scale in favor of a brother ; that her descending 
sword may have been averted from the head of a guilty 
member by the broad shield of the order. But these 
suspicions, if any such have been entertained, were partial ; 
and the institution has felt itself so strong, that it has 
been supposed that it might safely set at defiance every 
effort to pull it down. 

" The year 1826, however, introduced a new era in the 
history of Masonry and of our country. From that year to 
the present time enough has transpired to show, in a broad 
and fearful light, the danger of secret institutions. That 
citizen who will close his eyes to this light is criminally 
negligent to his own rights, and the safety of this govern 
ment. The order has been bold enough to assume to itself 
powers which belong only to the government of the land j 
and in the exercise of these assumed powers has violated 
the liberty of one citizen, and taken the life of another, 
for an alleged breach of obligations which our laws do 
not recognize. 

"In September, 1826, Capt. William Morgan, a citizen 
of this State, was seized under feigned process of the 
law, in the daytime, in the village of Batavia, and forci 
bly carried to Canandaigua, in another county. Captain 
Morgan was engaged in the publication of a book which 
purported to reveal the secrets of Freemasonry. This 
contemplated publication excited the alarm of the frater 
nity, and numbers of its members were heard to say that 
it should be suppressed at all events. It is known that 
meetings of delegates from the different lodges in the 
western counties were held to devise means for most 


effectually preventing the publication. It is known that 
the matter was a subject of anxious discussion in many 
and distant lodges. It is known that the zealous members of 
the fraternity were angry, excited, and alarmed, and occa 
sionally individuals threw out dark and desperate threats. 
It is known that an incendiary attempt was made to 
fire the office of Col. Miller, the publisher of the book ; 
that this attempt was plotted by Masons, and attempted 
to be carried into execution by Masons. The gang 
who seized Morgan at Batavia were Masons. They 
took him to Canandaigua ; after a mock trial he was 
discharged, but was immediately arrested and com 
mitted to prison on a stale or fictitious demand. The 
next night, in the absence of the jailer, he was released 
from prison by the pretended friendship of a false and 
hollow-hearted brother Mason. Upon leaving the prison 
door, he was again seized in the streets of Canandaigua, 
and, notwithstanding his cries of murder, he was thrust 
with ruffian violence into a carriage prepared for that 
purpose. At Batavia he had been torn from his home 
from his amiable wife and infant children. At Canan 
daigua he had been falsely beguiled from the safe custody 
of the law, and was forcibly carried by relays of horses, 
through a thickly-populated country, in the space of 
little more than twenty-four hours, to the distance of one 
hundred and fifteen miles, and secured as a prisoner in 
the magazine of Fort Niagara. This outrage necessarily 
required many agents j and, to the shame of our country, 
enough Masons were found, and of these, too, many who 
were bound by their official oaths to protect the liberty 
of the citizen, and prevent the violation of the laws, 
who readily lent their personal assistance, and the aid of 


their carriages and horses, in the transportation of this 
hapless man to the place of his confinement and subse 
quent death. 

" This was not their only outrage. About the same time 
Col. David C. Miller was also seized in Batavia, under like 
color of legal process, and taken to Le Roy. He was also 
seized by Masons, and accompanied to Le Roy by a 
ferocious band of Masons, armed with clubs. He was 
discharged from the process und-er which he was arrested, 
and with lawless violence they attempted to seize him 
again ; but, to the praise of the citizens of Le Roy, and to 
some who were members of the Masonic fraternity, too, 
be it spoken, he was rescued, and suffered to return to 
Batavia. The avowed intention of Col. Miller s seizure 
was to take him where Mofgan was j and where that was 
may be best gathered from the impious declaration of one 
of the conspirators, James Ganson, for several years a 
member of our legislature, that l he ^vas put where lie 
would stay put until God should call for him. 7 

" These acts of outrage and violence at length became 
the subject of inquiry, and excited the honest indigna 
tion of a community always alive to the rights of the 
citizen, and the violation of the laws. Committees of 
investigation were appointed in, the different counties 
which were the scenes of this violence, with instructions 
to do everything in their power to ferret out this crime, 
and trace it to the perpetrators. It was, however, 
perpetrated under the cover of so much secrecy, that it 
was long before even the course which had been taken 
with Morgan could be traced. Certainly the committees 
did not commence their investigations under the im 
pressions that they should find the fraternity implicated 


in the transaction. They were slow to believe, as the 
public have generally and very properly been slow 
to believe, that a society which embraces among its 
members so many worthy and pious men, could have 
ever connived at so foul a crime. It was considered 
as a blot upon the escutcheon of Masonry, and Masons 
were publicly called upon to assist in the investigation 
of this transaction, for the honor of the order, and to 
wipe out the stain. The committees soon discovered, with 
no little surprise, that they could expect no assistance 
from members of the fraternity. On the contrary, every 
obstacle and impediment was thrown in the way. They 
found the fraternity in a hostile attitude. They found 
that they were made the objects of ridicule, threats, and 
detraction j that their motives were impugned, and their 
characters vilified. Defeat, disgrace, and ruin, were con 
fidently predicted to them; and certainly no means were 
spared to give to these predictions the character of pro 
phecy. These acts of violence were made a jest of the 
excited feeling of the public was ridiculed their honest 
indignation was defied. The courts have been appealed 
to for justice ; but in very few instances has justice 
been visited upon the heads of the offenders. The 
Masonic oath was soon found to be a shackle upon the 
officers and ministers of the law : the lips of witnesses 
were sealed by a mysterious and invisible influence, or 
opened only in the utterance of falsehoods. Jurors were 
influenced in their verdicts by an obligation more power 
ful than their oaths as jurors. Many of the chief offenders 
fled the country ; and the crime yet remains, in a great 
measure, unpunished, and the violated laws unavenged. 
When it was found that the laws were too weak to 


vindicate their offended majesty, the committees appealed 
to the legislature of this State to institute an inquiry 
into these outrages. Here, too, it was found that the 
obligations which bound members to the fraternity were 
stronger than their oaths to support the constitution and 
the laws ; and here, too, they were baffled, and left to 
seek such redress as a few men could obtain against the 
united influence, wealth, and the determined and perse 
vering hostility of a powerful combination. 

" When it came to be ascertained that great numbers 
of the fraternity had been long engaged in devising 
means for suppressing Morgan s book j when it became 
known that the subject was a matter of discussion in 
many different and distant lodges ; when it was also 
known that many individuals, all members of the fra 
ternity, and some high in civil office, were implicated as 
accomplices in the actual outrages j when the course 
pursued by members of the fraternity generally, in 
relation to the investigation, was marked, all cool, 
thinking people began to look farther for the origin of 
the crime, and felt fully justified in identifying the Masonic 
institution with these outrages, and holding that respon 
sible for it. 

" The matter began to assume a new complexion ; the 
dangers of secret societies began to flash across the minds 
of the reflecting ; here was a bloody text, which afforded 
matter for fearful comment. The conviction became 
general that the safety of government and religion, the 
rights of the citizen, and the impartial administration of 
justice, required that this institution should be banished 
from our soil. The freedom and boldness with which the 
principles and tendency of the Masonic institution began 


now to be discussed, encouraged many honest and con 
scientious members of the fraternity, who had heretofore 
been shackled by fear, to renounce their connection with 
the society, and to disclose the nature of these secret 
obligations which bound them together. Taking upon 
themselves those horrid obligations, as they do, ignorant 
of their nature and import, there rests no obligation upon 
them, either legal, moral, or honorable, to consider them 
of any binding force. On the contrary, the duty which 
they owe to society and their country as citizens, the 
duty which they owe to God and his Church, loudly call 
upon them to divulge the principles of an institution so 
hostile to government and religion. This class of men 
are entitled to the gratitude of the public for their dis 
closures, and have deserved, and should receive, the coun 
tenance and support of every patriotic citizen, to sustain 
them against every attempt to injure them, or defame 
their characters. These obligations have been published 
to the world, and furnished farther and weighty evidence 
of the dangers of the Masonic institution ; with the sub 
stantial truth of these obligations, and that they are such 
as are actually taken, we have every reason to be satisfied j 
and it encourages us in the pledge which we have 
mutually given to each other, and to the world : that we 
will use our best endeavors to banish this relic of barbarism 
from our land. It is upon the subject of the dangers of 
the Masonic institution, fellow citizens, that we desire to 
address you ; and we are anxious that you should give the 
subject that consideration which its importance demands. 
This is not an ordinary topic. It is not a question 
whether this or that man shall be president or governor j 
it is not a question whetho^ thi or that line of measures 


shall be pursued, but it is a question of immeasurably 
greater importance, a question whether the rights of 
the citizen shall be held sacred whether the laws shall 
be impartially administered whether religion shall be 
duly reverenced. 

" It may be safely said that secret societies, in their best 
shape, are useless in a free government j calculated to 
excite jealousies and suspicions in the breasts of the un 
initiated, which may lay the foundation of dissensions and 
ill-will. If their objects are honest and praiseworthy, 
there is no need of secrecy : honesty needs no cloak, 
and deeds of charity seek not the cover of darkness. 
Secrecy and concealment ever afford grounds of suspicion. 
If, however, Masonry is only what it has ever been 
professed to be, perhaps it might be safely left to the 
amusement of full-grown children ; perhaps they might 
be safely left to the enjoyment of their mock dignities, 
their muslin robes, their pasteboard crowns, and their 
gilded mitres j but when the obligations which bind 
them t to vote for a brother before any other person of equal 
qualifications 7 to always support his 6 military fame and 
political preferment, in opposition to another to aid and 
assist a brother in difficulty, so far as to extricate from 
the same, whether he be right or wrong to keep his 
secrets, in all cases, inviolably, murder and treason not 
excepted, 7 and these under no less penalties than a torturing 
and ignominious death, then it becomes a question of 
serious import whether such an institution can be tolerated 
in our free government. By the force of these obliga 
tions a member can claim the vote of a brother for any 
elective office, in derogation of that equality guaranteed 
to us by our constitution ; and the brethren thus elected, 


gradually obtaining the control of the executive, legis 
lative, and judicial departments of the government, can 
and must dispense their patronage, in strict consonance 
with the obligations of this mysterious fraternal tie, so 
that soon the government, in all its branches, must be 
controlled by the members of the order. What guarantee 
is there for the impartial discharge of official duties, 
when the officer is shackled by such obligations ? What 
hold have we upon the conscience, the integrity, or justice, 
of such a man ? Is it his oath to support the constitution 
of this State and the United States ? Is it his oath to 
faithfully discharge the duties of the office which he fills ? 
He has taken a previous oath, of more horrid import, and 
of paramount obligation, to which all other oaths, all 
other ties, all other duties, must yield. He is not a 
free man. He stands shackled and bound by invisible 
and mysterious chains. He cannot do his duty to his 
country if he would he has a duty to perform to the fra 
ternity, under the severest penalties of Masonic vengeance. 
What guarantee have we for the impartial administration 
of justice ? A felon communicates the mystic sign to a 
brother on the grand inquest the juror s oath to screen 
no man, from fear, favor, or affection, must yield to the 
obligation to extricate a brother, whether he be right or 
wrong. 7 If he escapes not here, there is the same facility 
of communication with the jurors who are to try him 
and strange would it be if some of the brethren who 
have found means to insinuate themselves into every 
station, should not be found upon the panel, and in a 
panel where one stout and persevering negative prevents 
his conviction or the judge who tries him may receive 
the grand hailing signj and the purity of the ermine 


may be sullied by the contamination of Masonic iniquity. 
If all this is not sufficient, the mystic signal may avail 
with the executive, and the avenging sword of the law 
rnay be turned aside from the execution of justice. Where 
is the security for justice between man and man ? Can a 
Masonic judge or Masonic jurors hold the scales even 
between adverse parties, when one can appeal for assist 
ance through the medium of mysterious signals ? This 
is not all. Witnesses who solemnly appeal to God to 
tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth, in what they shall be called upon to relate, may 
be bound under obligations more awful, and under penalties 
more severe, not to disclose the secrets of a brother. No ! 
though it extend to the murder of a fellow-being, or to 
treason to the State. Is there, then, fellow citizens, any 
safety in trusting those persons who have taken such 
obligations, and believe in their binding sanction, with 
any office in our government? Is there any safety in 
committing our lives, our liberty, our property, or 
our reputation, to them, as judges or jurors ? Is any 
confidence to be placed in witnesses who have bound 
themselves under such awful obligations to keep the secrets 
of a brother? These obligations strike at the very 
existence of our government at the very foundation of 
our rights and at the impartial administration of our 

" This institution threatens not only danger to govern 
ment and the cause of justice, but strikes at the basis 
of all morality and religion. The obligation not to 
disclose the secrets of a brother, even in cases of murder 
and treason, has a tendency to invite the confidence of 
a brother Mason. Under the sanction of this oath, a 


bold, bad man will not fear to disclose the history of his 
crimes to the ears of the virtuous, to the ears of even 
a minister of the holy gospel, and, secure against de 
tection, make an impudent boast of his iniquities. This 
will make virtuous men familiar with the detail of crimes, 
and confidants in criminal secrets : and vice is of a 
character so contagious, that one cannot even listen 
to its history, or be familiar with its secrets, with 
out some danger of contamination ; and that nice, delicate, 
moral sense, which characterizes a virtuous man, must be 
gradually effaced, and his principles of virtue must be, 
in a great measure, rendered unsettled. Is Freemasonry 
the handmaid of religion, that institution in whose rites 
and ceremonies the most touching portions of that Holy 
Book, which holds out to us the promise of eternal life, 
are introduced in solemn mockery, and represented in 
the shape of a miserable theatrical, farce where a weak, 
sinful mortal undertakes to personify the Almighty God ; 
where the name of our Blessed Saviour, and the Holy 
Trinity, are introduced in a vain and irreverent manner ; 
where the belief of the immortality of the soul is 
pledged in a libation from the skull of a Masonic traitor j 
where the life eternal in the heavens is represented 
only as one great lodge, and the Almighty is blasphe 
mously typified as Grand Master thereof? Is such an 
institution the handmaid of religion ? We think we are 
safe in saying that the frequent use of profane oaths, 
the irreverent familiarity with religious forms and sacred 
things, the blasphemous mockery of the name of the 
Triune God, in the recesses of the lodge-room, are more 
dangerous to the cause of the benign religion of Jesus than 
open and avowed infidelity. It is to b* feared that 


substitute and rely on the religion of Masonry, instead 
of the religion of Him who died to atone for our sins ; or 
if not, they come to the belief that all religion is only 
the farce which their impious ceremonies represent it 
to be. It is time these delusions were dispelled. Masonry 
now stands before us in its naked deformity, stripped of its 
tinsel ornaments and solemn mummery. It behoves us to 
take warning from the past, and receive instruction 
from the school of experience. We see in these dis 
closures the same principles which deluged France in 
blood, and were the cause of the dark crimes which 
stained that distracted country during the period of 
her sanguinary revolution. We see the same principles 
which governed Illuminism in the last century, and 
lighted her path in that foul plot which would have 
substituted anarchy for government and civil rule, and 
Atheism for the religion of the cross. It is from the 
bosom of Freemasonry that this dark conspiracy origi 
nated. To the bosom of Freemasonry every revolu 
tion and conspiracy which has agitated Europe for the 
last fifty years, may be distinctly traced, and the secret 
workings of this all-pervading order can be clearly 
seen. The governments of the world are beginning to 
be awake to the danger. Russia has suppresssed the 
order in her own dominions j Spain has suppressed it j 
and our sister republic of Mexico is exerting herself 
to crush one of its hydra heads. Shall we alone look 
tamely on, and use no endeavors to check the spread 
of its contaminating principles ? You ask how it is to 
be suppressed in this free government ? They confi 
dently boast that it is not in the power of man to suppress 
it that even this government itself, with all its power, 


cannot do it. This may be true. But there is a power 
in this free land superior even to our government, and 
which guides, controls, and directs it $ and that power 
is public opinion. The laws we have found too weak. 
Government may be too weak ; but there is a moral force 
in public opinion which must, in this free country, crush 
everything, however powerful, which is arrayed against 
it. This opinion speaks in our public meetings it speaks 
from the sacred desk it speaks through the organ of the 
press it speaks through the ballot-boxes, when Masons 
appeal to you in this manner for support and countenance. 
This power, fellow citizens, you have under your control. 
It is the only legitimate and proper force that can be put 
in operation in this emergency, and in this country. This 
is a power for you to wield and in its exercise remember 
the warning voice of the father of his country, to beware 
of all secret societies. r> 

8. Resolutions passed by the Anti-Masonic Convention 
of March 6th and 7th, 1828. 

1. Resolved, That it is a peculiar feature of our free government 
that all measures should be open and amenable to public opinion, 
and that the existence of any society in this country whose objects, 
principles, and measures, are secret and concealed, is not merely use 
less, but hostile, to the spirit of our free institutions. 

2. Resolved, That the bare existence of secret societies in these United 
States, justifies fears, jealousies, and suspicions, as to their objects, in 
the breasts of the uninitiated, which have a tendency to distract 
society, and sow ill-will and dissensions in community. 

3. Resolved, That the disclosures which have been made of the 
principles and obligations of speculative Freemasonry prove it to be 
an institution of dangerous tendency liable to be used by the am 
bitious and designing as an engine for exalting unworthy men, and 
effecting improper measures placing the citizen in a situation in 
which his duty to his country must, in ma.ny instances, conflict with 
his obligations to the fraternity and weakening the sanctions of 


morality and religion by the multiplication of profane oaths, and an 
irreverent familiarity with religious forms and sacred things. 

4. Resolved, That we discover, in the ceremonies and obligations of 
the higher degrees of Masonry, principles which deluged France in 
blood, and which tend directly to the subversion of all religion and 

5. Resolved, That the obligation in one of the degrees of Freemasonry 
to protect a brother, " right or wrong," and to preserve his secret invio 
late, even in cases of murder and treason, has a tendency to unnerve 
the arm of justice, and to afford protection to the vicious and profli 
gate from the punishment due to their crimes. 

6. Resolved, That the tendency of such obligations is to weaken the 
sanction of virtue in the minds of the recipients, by making bad men 
bold and unblushing to trust the history of their crimes to the ears 
of a brother, and thus making them familiar with iniquity, to the 
destruction of all correct moral principles. 

7. Resolved, That we view the impious personification of the Deity, and 
the irreverent introduction of the name of our blessed Saviour and 
the Holy Trinity in Masonic meetings and ceremonies, with mingled 
pain and abhorrence; and that we regard the unhallowed substitution 
of the profane orgies of Freemasonry for the Christian religion, as 
fraught with more danger to the peace of society and the truths of 
revelation, than open Deism, or avowed infidelity. 

8. Resolved, That the outrages upon the liberty of one citizen, and 
upon the liberty and life of another, committed by Masons in these 
western counties, afford horrible proof of the sanguinary nature of 
Masonic oaths. 

9. Resolved, That the widespread conspiracy of numerous Masons to 
plot these outrages their attempts to stifle investigation after they 
had been committed and to screen the actual offenders from the 
justice due to their crimes sufficiently identify the institution with 
these enormities, and justify us in holding it and its supporters 
responsible for the same. 

10. Resolved, That an institution whose rites are impious whose 
obligations are blasphemous and, if observed in the spirit of their 
horrid import, must necessarily lead to perjury and murder an insti 
tution in one instance, at least, stained with the blood of one of its 
members, by a crime which has in an unequivocal manner received 
the sanction of the order, is unworthy to exist in a free government- 
and that we pledge ourselves to each other and to the world that we 
will use all lawful and constitutional means to banish entirely from 
our country that bloody relic . of barbarism. 

11. Resolved, That those Masons who have disclosed the horrid obli- 


gations which bind the fraternity together, deserve the warmest grati 
tude of their fellow citizens, and that we will do everything in our 
power to sustain them against those persecutions which the nature of 
those obligations, and the vindictive character of the institution, teach 
us to fear will be their lot. 

12. Resolved, That this convention are satisfied, from the evidence 
adduced before them, of the substantial truths of the Masonic obligcu 
tions recently published and that the same be published to the world in 
connection with the proceedings of this convention. 

13. Resolved, That we regard the public press as the sentinel of free 
dom, and cannot but lament its entire subjugation, throughout tho 
Union, to the control of Freemasonry. 

14. Resolved, That we earnestly recommend to the citizens of the 
several counties of this State to procure the establishment of free 
presses, whose editors will fearlessly vindicate the rights of its citi 
zens and laws of the land. 

15. Resolved, That a State Convention, to be composed of delegates 
from the several counties of the State of New York, equal to double the 
number of their representatives in the Assembly, be called to meet at the 
village of Utica, on the fourth day of August next, to take measures for 
the destruction of the Masonic institution; for sustaining the liberty 
of the press, and asserting the supremacy of the laws; for protecting the 
rights and privileges of the citizens against the vindictive persecutions 
of members of the Masonic society; and to take into consideration such 
other business as the said convention shall deem expedient, in further 
ance of such objects and that it be and is hereby recommended to the 
different counties in this State to send delegates to the same. 

9. Proceedings of the Adjourned Convention of Seced 
ing Masons j held at Le Roy, July 4, 1828. 

At an adjourned meeting of the convention of Seced 
ing Masons, held at Le Roy, July 4, 1828, Solomon 
Southwick, President, and David Bernard, Clerk. 

On motion, it was resolved that the committee appointed 
to draft a declaration of independence from the Masonic 
institution be requested to report. A. P. Hascall, from 
the said committee, then reported the declaration. 

On motion, it was unanimously resolved that the 
declaration be adopted and signed. 



When men attempt to dissolve a system which has 
influenced and governed a part of community, and by its 
pretensions to antiquity, usefulness, and virtue, would 
demand the respect of all, it is proper to submit to the 
consideration of a candid and impartial world, the causes 
which impel them to such a course. We, seceders from 
the Masonic institution, availing ourselves of our natural 
and unalienable rights, and the privileges guaranteed to us 
by our constitution, freely to discuss the principles of our 
government and laws, and to expose whatever may 
endanger the one, or impede the due administration of the 
other, do offer the following reasons for endeavoring to 
abolish the order of Freemasonry, and destroy its influence 
in our government : 

In all arbitrary governments free inquiry has been 
restricted as fatal to the principles upon which they were 
based. In all ages of the world tyrants have found it 
necessary to shackle the minds of their subjects, to enable 
them to control their actions ; for experience ever taught 
that the free mind ever exerts a moral power that resists 
all attempts to enslave it. However forms of government 
heretofore have varied, the right to act and speak with 
out a controlling power has never been permitted. Our 
ancestors, who imbibed principles of civil and religious 
liberty, fled to America to escape persecution ; and when 
Britain attempted to encroach upon the free exercise of 
those principles, our fathers hesitated not to dissolve their 
oaths of allegiance to the mother-country, and declare 
themselves free and independent ; and exulting millions 
of freemen yet bless their memories for the deed. A new 
theory of government was reduced to practice in the 


formation of the American republic. It involved in its 
structure principles of equal rights and equal privileges, 
and was based on the eternal foundation of public good. It 
protects the weak, restrains the powerful, and extends its 
honors and emoluments to the meritorious of every con 
dition. It should have been the pride of every citizen to 
preserve this noble structure in all its beautiful symmetry 
and proportions. But the principle of self-aggrandize 
ment, the desire to control the destinies of others, and 
luxuriate in their spoils, unhappily still inhabits the 
human breast. Many attempts have already been made 
to impair the freedom of our institutions, and subvert our 
government ; but they have been met by the irresistible 
power of public opinion and indignation, and crushed. In 
the meantime the Masonic society has been silently growing 
among us, whose principles and operations are calculated 
to subvert and destroy the great and important principles 
of the commonwealth. Before and during the revolution 
ary struggle, Masonry was but little known and practised 
in this country. It was lost amid the changes and con 
fusion of the conflicting nations, and was reserved for a 
time of profound peace, to wind and insinuate itself into 
every department of government, and influence the result 
of almost every proceeding. Like many other attempts 
to overturn government, and destroy the liberties of the 
people, it iias chosen a time when the suspicions of men 
were asleep, and, with a noiseless tread, in the darkness and 
silence of the night, has increased its strength and ex 
tended its power. Not yet content with its original powers 
and influence, it has of late received the aid of foreign 
and more arbitrary systems. With this accumulation of 
strength, it arrived at that formidable crisis when it bid 


tipen defiance to the laws of our country, in the abdtiction 
and murder of an unoffending citizen of the republic. So 
wicked was this transaction, so extensive its preparation, 
and so openly justified, that it aroused the energies of an 
insulted people, whose exertions have opened the hidden 
recesses of this abode of darkness and mystery, and man 
kind may now view its power, its wickedness, and folly. 

That it is opposed to the genius and dresign of this 
government, the spirit and precepts of our holy religion, 
and the welfare of society generally, will appear from the 
following considerations : 

It exercises jurisdiction over the persons and lives of 
citizens of the republic. 

It arrogates to itself the right of punishing its members 
for offences unknown to the laws of this or any other 
nation. ^ 

It requires the concealment of crime, and protects the 
guilty from punishment. 

It encourages the commission of crime, by affording to 
the guilty facilities of escape. 

It affords opportunities for the corrupt and designing 
to form plans against the government, arid the lives and 
characters of individuals. 

It assumes titles and dignities incompatible with a 
republican form of government, and enjoins an obedience 
to them derogatory to republican principles. 

It destroys all principles of equality, by bestowing 
favors on its own members to the exclusion of others 
equally meritorious and deserving. 

It creates odious aristocracies, by its obligations to 
supp6rt the interests of its members, in preference to 
others of equal qualifications. 



It blasphemes the name, and attempts a personification 
of the Great Jehovah. 

It prostitutes the Sacred Scriptures to unholy purposes, 
to subserve its own secular and trilling concerns. 

It weakens the sanctions of morality and religion, 
by the multiplication of profane oaths, and an immoral 
familiarity with religious forms and ceremonies. 

It discovers in its ceremonies an unholy commingling 
of divine truth with impious human inventions. 

It destroys a veneration for religion and religious 
ordinances, by the profane use of religious forms. 

It substitutes the self-righteousness and ceremonies 

/ j s 

of Masonry for the vital religion and ordinances of the 


It promotes habits of idleness and intemperance, by its 
members neglecting their business to attend its meetings 
and drink its libations. 

It accumulates funds at the expense of indigent per 
sons, and to the distress of their families, too often to be 
dissipated in rioting and pleasure and its senseless cere 
monies and exhibitions. 

It contracts the sympathies of the human heart for 
all the unfortunate, by confining its charities to its own 
members j and promotes the interests of a few, at the ex 
pense of the many. 

An institution, thus fraught with so many and great 
evils, is dangerous to our government and the safety of 
our citizens, and is unfit to exist among a free people. 
We, therefore, believing it a duty we owe to God, our 
country, and to posterity, resolve to expose its mystery, 
wickedness, and tendency, to piiblic view ; and we exhdrt 
all citizens who have a love of country, and a veneration 


for its laws, a spirit of our holy religion,, and a regard for 
the welfare of mankind, to aid us in the cause which we 
have espoused ; and appealing to Almighty God for the 
rectitude of our motives, we solemnly absolve ourselves 
from all allegiance to the M asonic institution, and declare 
ourselves free and independent : and in support of these 
resolutions, Our government and laws, and the safety of* 
individuals, against the usurpations" of all secret societies 
and open force, and against the -* l vengeance " o*f the 
Masonic institution, " with a firm reliance on the protec- 
tion of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to -each 
other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred hdnor." . " 

This Declaration of Independence from the Masonic 
Institution, adopted at Le Roy, July .4, 1828, is. signed by 
one hundred and three ex-Masons. 

<> 10. The Prolific Mother of Freemasons : Protestantism. 

It was o nly at the pe riod of the Protestant Reforma- 
tion that Freemasonry completed its present compact 
and well-united organization. Up to this period there 
had been evil in the world, and even in the Church, for 
she could not altogether exclude a false brethren," but 
thus far good had visibly overmastered evil. There had 
been a kingdom of Christ, and a teacher who could neither 
deceive nor be deceived j an authority in the world,- but 
not of the world, which it was impossible to elude, cajole, 
terrify, or silence. God owed this to Christians, -and he 
gave it. The Church was that gift. In giving her, he 
gave all he could. And she did, by the might of his as 
sistance, what he appointed her to do. fivcn the worst 
men, if they revolted for a moment against her, because 



they wanted to commit sins which she would not tolerate, 
presently perceived their guilt, and did penance. The 
spirit of faith was upon them. Human nature was the 
same as now, and liable to the same infirmities ; but there 
was a light in its darkness, and a remedy, swift and 
powerful, for all its errors. It could not .go far wrong. 

-The gift of faith brought in its train every other. But 
thousands of Catholics in Germany, Denmark, Holland, 
England, Scotland, and other parts of Europe, through 

their .own fault, were now to lose faith, and the darkness 
of Egypt was- to rest up^n them. 

^There is no such proof of the immense and Egyptian 
stupidity of the modern world as its attitude toward the 
Church. Except her Divine Founder, it has neVer known, 
and neVer can know, such a benefactor. And upon none 

f of the nations of the earth did the Church lavish her gifts 
with more prodigality than upon our European forefathers 

None had more reason to venerate her with eternal grati 
tude. It was she who made them manly and free. Rude 
as they once, had been, they became able, tinder her guid 
ance, to conceive and execute works in every province of 
the land, of which the matchless beauty was unsurpassed 
by anything which human genius had ever imagined. 
She could not change, and did not pretend to change, the 
imm&table conditions of human existence, nor t^ll her 
children, with lying flattery, that suffering could be ban 
ished from the earth 5 but while she proclaimed the 
divine Ordinance, that there should always be rich and 
poor, she inspired the one with supernatural patience, and 
the. other with supernatural charity. And both loved her 
for the virtues which she taught them. If she eVer spoke 
in anger, it was against the unjust and the oppressor. It 


was Only tyrants who feared and hated her, because she 
was always in their way. If they asked the people, too 
wise for many generations to heed the treacherous invita 
tion, to rebel against her mild authority, it was tfnly that 
they might substitute for it their own vulgar despotism, 
as they are doing with so much success in the present day. 
Yet she was ever the guardian of temporal thrones, and 
kings reigned in peace, because religion was the nurse of 
loyalty. Her bishops were the first schoolmasters, her 
monasteries the asylums of letters and philosophy 5 and 
the sure and unbroken progress of intellectual culture had 
been going on within her bosom for a series of ages, until 
all the vital and productive energies of human culture 
were here united and mingled. She had the monopoly of 
learning ; and as to personal and individual liberty, the 
Catholic Church was the special representative of pro 
gress. What more was it possible to do for Eiirope *? 
Yet she did more. She made Europe, during long ages, 
one family in Jesus Christ, one fold under one shepherd ; 
and though she could not make all Europeans saints, and 
did not expect to do so, she could rescue the worst of 
them from the grasp of demons, and send those who had 
been criminals, into the presence of their Judge, in the robe 
of penitents. Nothing -like her has been seen in the 
world j and for all who have lived by her law, 6ven the 
world, with all its sadness, has been a foretaste of paradise. 
Under such circumstances it was difficult for Freemasonry 
to find many followers, and to become a strong body. But 
it was soon to celebrate the birthday of its prolific 
mother, Protestantism. With Egyptian blindness, and 
more than Egyptian ingratitude, thousands of European 
Catholics cast out their gracious Mother, the Catholic 



Church, to whom they owe all that they are and have ; 
and having lost the remembrance of all her care for them 
during a thousand years, substituted for her Protestantism. 
Since that time, when a formidable prophetic lt seal " was 
opened, the world has advanced more rapidly than ever in 
the way of evil. It then discovered, for the first time, 
with much jubilation, that it was able to teach itself! 
" Will nobbdy teach us ? " the Pagan world had cried, in 
its despair. " We defy anybody to teach us," the Protestant 
world shouted, in its delirium. This was evidently pro 
gress. The earlier delusion of the world had been that 
nobody could find out truth, for want of teachers j but 
now it is persuaded that anybody can do so, if they teach 
their teachers j and also, that it does not much matter 
whether they find it out or not. The only intelligible 
message of Protestantism of our day is : " Believe what 
you like, provided you do not believe as your fathers did." 
The prophets whom Plato expected have come, but so has 
the Protestant Reformation. More tt plebeian " than any 
gross philosophy dreamed of by Cicero, it exhorted the 
world to despise, not the Platonic and Socratic familia 
it might please itself about that but the very oracles 
which Plato and Aristotle vainly invoked, and which, if 
they had heard, they and all their followers would have 
obeyed with both an intellectual and a spiritual rapture. 
For fifteen centuries all that was purest, noblest, and most 
gifted in the human race did obey them, with much ad 
vantage to themselves and to society in general. But the 
great apostasy was now at hand. There was to be a 
second temptation, and a second fall. Once more man was 
to be told to get wisdom for himself, in defiance of his 
Maker ; and when it was added, " Thou shalt not surely 
die," he believed it. 


The new device was not yet ten years old when its 
framers were already asking one another, in great surprise, 
" What has becdme of religion and morals V As one 
Christian truth after another faded out of sight, and even 

those who still believed something were not sure what 

/ / J. 

their belief precisely was, fierce tc sects of perdition," each 

with its own Gospel, began to swarm over Europe, whence 
they passed over into America and other countries of the 
world. Obedience was dead, for there was nothing to 
obey ; and for the abolished Christian code was substituted 
one devilish precept, the right of revblt ! From the 
spiritual it was quickly imported into the political sphere, 
with results of which we are all witnesses. A new " seal " 
was opened, and disorder and anarchy came forth the 
wide avenue to infidelity was opened. 

The individual reason, taking as it does the place of 
faith, the Protestant, whether he believes it or not, is an 
infidel in germ, and the infidel is a Protestant in full 
bloom. In other words, infidelity is nothing but Protes 
tantism in the highest degree. Hence it is that Edgar 
Qui het, a great herald of Protestantism, is right in styling 
the Protestant sects the thousand gates open to get out of 
Christianity. No wonder, then, that thousands of Pro 
testants have ended, and continue to end, in framing 
their own formula of faith thus : "I believe in nothing." 

It was all that Freemasonry could desire. Protestant 
ism, tending in the same direction as Freemasonry, natu 
rally became the beloved twin-sister of the latter, and as 
a prolific mother of rebel children, furnished the sect with 
thousands of members. Protestantism and Freemasonry, 
with so much apparent zeal for the honor and purity of 
the Church, united in declaiming against the degeneracy 


of the clergy. They exaggerated the personal faults of 
the priests and religious, but especially of the bishops and 
popes. They spoke of " reform" of faith and morals, in 
the head as well as in the members of the Church. It 
was the most tender and vital point of attack, and unhap 
pily these accusations were eagerly caught up, and echoed 
from mouth to mouth. As soon as these cunning agents 
of Satan found that they had acquired a moral influence 
over the people, they extended their attack from the clergy 
themselves to their possessions. They offered the rich 
Church-property as a bait to the greed of the nobles and 
petty princes, and inspired the lower classes with a passion 
for revolt against Church and State. 

Europe was soon flooded with pamphlets and emissaries 
preaching, as they declared , the pure Gospel, preaching, 
first, a church poor, that is, deprived of all property, and 
consequently unable to assist the poor, unable to aid the 
sick, the wiftow and the orphan, unable to assist the poor 
student to prosecute his studies to aid the missionary in 
the conversion of the heathen, and, finally, making the 
cleYgy dependent on the State for support, thus converting 
them, as far as possible, into subservient hirelings of the 
State ; and, second, a church humble, that is, subject in 
everything to the control of the State. 

Sknvly but surely Freemasonry succeeded in spreading 
all over the civilized world what it called the charitable 
humanitarian principle of Toleration, the refined and 
enlightened principle of Liberalism; and, at the same time, 
in glaring contradiction to its principle of toleration, 
Freemasonry inspired the people with a supreme con- 
te mpt and intense hatred for what it was pleased to call 
narrow-minded, bigoted dogmatism, well knowing that 


ro cluircli can exist, or can even be imagined, which has 
not clearly defined principles and dogmas. To bring 
about this contempt and hatred for the dogmas of the 
Church, they ridiculed the doctrines of our holy faith, and 
asserted that they were childish superstitions, upheld only 
by blind fanaticism. 

In the year 1717, when the Freemasons thought that 
they were strong enough, and that Europe was ripe, they 
opened their lodges to the Jews, Turks, and heathens. It 
was then that not only the good, innocent brethren of the 
lower grades, but also the uninitiated, or, as they resp^ct- 
fully call it, the " profane world," received a countless 
number of pamphlets, wherein Christ, our dear Lord, was 
represented as a deceiver or as a myth ; his Church as the 
enemy of progress and enlightenment, and ancient heathen 
ism as the perfection of everything that was good and n6ble. 
Poets, painters, and sculptors departed from the Christian 
ideal in art, and sighed after, and sought to introduce, the 
gods and goddesses of heathenism. This was the so-called 
" Renaissance," that is, the re-blooming of heathenism. 

During the French Revolution the Freemasons tried to 
introduce heathenism practically into the world. From 
France it was to be spread throughout the civilized world. 
As this was as yet only a trial, they carefully avoided the 
name of the ancient heathen church. The worship of 
Busiris they called the worship of the Supreme Being 
(TEtre Supreme); and the worship of Isis, that is, the 
worship of a prostitute upon the altar of God, a worship 
to be sanctioned and to be enforced by all the authority 
of the state ministers, generals, and the assembly, this 
worship they called the worship of " reason." Hundreds of 
innocent victims fell to their fury. 


Prudhomme has left a nominal list of men who were be 
headed, viz.: 1,278 noblemen; 750 ladies; 1,467 wives of 
artisans; 350 religious; 1,135 priests; 13,633 other men 
a total of 18,61 3. There were, in addition, 3,400 women 
who died from premature confinement, arising from ill-usage 
and terror, and 348 who were murdered while pregnant. 
There were also 15,000 Vendean women killed, 22,000 
children, and 90,000 men. Besides these, there were 
32,000 victims slaughtered by Carrier, at Nantes; 31,000 
at Lyons ; and many thousands more at Versailles, Avignon, 
Toulon, Marseilles, and elsewhere. There were 540 public 
prosecutors who had the power, of themselves to pass 
sentence of death. There were instituted no less than 
50,000 revolutionary tribunals, which cost the country 
591,000,000 francs a year. All these tribunals and 
prosecutors vied with one another in bloody activity. This 
was Masonic fraternity and loyalty. 

This trial, however, began too soon in France. The 
French are naturally impulsive. The order was not as yet 
strong enough in the rest of Europe ; nay, even the good, 
innocent brethren, out of France, stood aghast at the 
shocking crimes of the French Masons, and refused to 
cooperate with them ; and as the whole world was to be 
reduced to one universal kingdom, France had to lay 
aside for a while the Sword, and betake herself to the 

<, 11. The Masonic Hammer. 

Freemasonry, aided and paid by the State, now took 
possession of the high-schools and universities. There 
the professors, agents of Freemasonry, boldly taught, 
without stint and hindrance, that Christianity was but a 


/ f 

childish superstition j and they inoculated with these 

abominable doctrines those who were to be the future 
government officers, generals, professors, and even mem 
bers of the clergy. The schoolmasters, in their turn, 
taught these infamous sophistries in the lower schools, 
and even in the seminaries. In countries where they 
cannot suppress the clergy, they endeavor to diminish the 
influence of the clergy, by confiscating all their property 
and revenues ; by reducing their numbers, and the niim- 
bers of their students j by breaking up religious houses, 
and expelling the religious orders; by seizing on all the 
channels of education, the institutions of charity, the 
administration of relief for the poor, the ceremony of 
marriage, chaplaincies of regiments and prisons j by 
heaping calumnies upon all the ecclesiastics, and by 
inducing priests to become patriotic^ or lovers of their 
country, in a false sense, so that, in losing the spirit of their 
vocation, they more easily fall into the snares of their 
society. To entrap Catholics more easily, they establish 
certain benevolent societies, whose chief leaders are con 
sidered practical Catholics, but who, are in reality, decoys 
to draw innocent Catholics into the Masonic snares, under 
the specious pretext of good. Freemasonry introduces, 
also, means of corruption, and increases the incitements 
to it, in theatres, ballets, and novels, so as to plunge per- 
sons into shameful vices, and thus deter them from the 
reception of the sacraments. " Wo, wo to thee, saith 
the Lord, that thou didst also build thee a common stew, 
and madest thee a brothel house in every street. At 
every head of the way thou hast set up a sign of thy 
prostitution, and hast made thyself abominable, and 
hast multiplied fornications." (Ezech. 16, 2S--5.) The 


next step is to take the education of the children and 
youths from the clergy, and to instil into them the princi 
ples of infidelity, in State or public schools. And what 
are children without religion ? Are they not the greatest 
misfortune and the greatest curse that can come to their 
parents ? History informs us that Dion the philosopher 
gave a sharp reproof to Dionysius the Tyrant, on account 
of his cruelty. Dionysius felt highly offended, and 
resolved to avenge himself on Dion ; so he took the son of 
Dion prisoner not, indeed, for the purpose of killing 
him, but of Diving him up into the hands of an irreligious 
teacher. After the young man had been long enough 
under this teacher to learn from him everything that was 
bad and impious, Dionysius sent him back to his father. 
Now, what object had the tyrant in acting thus f He 
foresaw that this corrupted son, by his impious conduct 
during his whole lifetime, would cause his father constant 
grief and sorrow, so much so that he would be for him a 
life-long affliction and curse. This, the Tyrant thought, 
was the longest and the greatest revenge he could take 
on Dion for having censured his conduct. 

Indeed, there is no father, there is no mother, who is 
not thoroughly convinced of the truth, that a child without 
religion is the greatest affliction that can befall parents. 
This truth needs no illustration. It is this affliction, this 
curse, that is to come upon Catholic parents by godless 
education. Again, Freemasonry uses infidel journalism to 
circulate its doctrines among the people, doctrines calcu 
lated to sap alike the altar and the throne j to caVry on a 
war of extermination against every holy principle, against 
the welfare and the very existence of society j to spread 
among the people the worst of religions the no-religion, 


the religion which pleases most hardened adulterers and 
criminals, the religion of irrational animals j a religion of 
licentiousness, cruelty, and vice 5 the substitution of the 
reign of the passions for the calm and elevating influences 
of reason and religion; to bring about a generation with 
out belief in God and immortality, free from all regard for 
the invisible, a generation that looks upon this life as 
their 6nly life, this earth as their only home, and the 
promotion of their earthly interests and enjoyments as 
their only end ; a generation that looks updn religion, 
marriage, upon family and private property, as the great 
est enemies to worldly happiness j a generation that suV 
stitutes science of this world for religion, a community of 
goods for private property, a community of wives for the 
private family f in other words, a generation that substi 
tutes the devil for God, hell for heaven, sin and vice for 
virtue and holiness of life. Thus the fatal miasma, fiVat- 
ing in the whole literary atmosphere, is drawn in with 
every breath, corrupting the very life-blood of religion in 
the mind and soul, and leaving " the slime of the serpent " 
over every reader. Indeed, bad newspapers are now 
among the greatest evils of the world. But it is the fit 
ting chastisement of apostate nations that they should be 
governed by newspapers, instead of by the prophets and 
the saints. They are the only teachers that such nations 
deserve. In pagan times the Sophists had been the 
" Church of the Devil ; " in the revived paganism of our 
own age, it is the infidel journalists who supply their place. 
Sensual and impudent, judging all things, and, by pre 
ference, those of which they know least, sc6ffers to whom 
modesty and reverence are unknown, and filled with the 
spirit of delusion, they call evil good, and good evil, tell 


the truth only by accident, and lie with such deter 
mination, that all who love God and their country may 
almost wish, in the words of Sir Walter Scott, "that the 
scoundrels might be squeezed to death in their own presses." 
What Egyptian of all the host who were drowned in the 
Red Sea could hope to surpass, in sensuality and irreligion, 
the writers of so many newspapers of the day ? If 
Pharao were among us now, as indeed he is, only more 
like the unclean swine than ever, he would not want coun 
sellors after his own heart. Egyptian or Israelite, it is all 
the same to such papers as are quite ready to abuse the 
Moses of the Catholic Church, if Phdrao will pay. Happy 
readers, who have exchanged the " mental darkness " of 
Pius IX for the electric illumination of infidel newspapers ! 
No doubt, when the sort of prophets who write in such papers 
are up to their necks in the Red Sea, their old delusion 
will be so strong upon them that they will still be mutter 
ing, to their last gasp, though we shall not be there to hear 
it, the same Egyptian shibboleths : " Spiritual tyranny," 
" Md ntal darkness," " No Popery," " Down with the 
Church," and "Liberty of the Press!" 

Freemasonry also employs the skill of the engraver to 
caricature the institutions and officers of the Christian 
religion ; and others, to exhibit the grossest forms of vice, 
and the most distressing scenes of crime and suffering. 
The illustrated press has become to us what the amphi 
theatre was to the Romans, when men were slain, women 
were outraged, and Christians given to the lions, to please 
a degenerate populace. 

Who were the leaders in the work of destruction and 
wholesale butchery in the Reign of Terror I The nurs 
lings of lyceums, in which the chaotic principles of the 
" philosophers " were proclaimed as oracles of truth. 


Who are those turbulent revolutionists who always long 
to erect the guillotine ? And who are those secret con 
spirators, and their myrmidon partisans, who have sworn 
to unify Italy, or lay it in ruins ? Men who were taught to 
scout the idea of a God, and rail at religion j to consider 
Christianity as a thing of the past ; men who revel in wild 
chimeras by night, and seek to realize their mad dreams 
by day. 

Freemasonry again uses men of scientific pursuits, to 
make the worse appear the better cause. The chemist 
has never found in his crucible that intangible something 
which men call spirit ; so, in the name of science, he pro 
nounces it a myth. The anatomist has dissected the 
human frame j but, failing to meet the immaterial sul>- 
stance, the soul, he denies its existence. The physicist 
has weighed the conflicting theories of his predecessors in 
the scale of criticism, and finally decides that bodies are 
nothing more than the accidental assemblage of atoms, and 
rejects the very idea of a Creator. The geologist, after 
investigating the secrets of the earth, triumphantly tells us 
that he has accumulated an overwhelming mass of facts 
to refute the Biblical cosmogony, and thus subvert the 
authority of the inspired record. The astronomer flatters 
himself that he has discovered natural and necessary laws, 
which do away with the necessity of admitting that a 
divine hand once launched the bodies into space, and still 
guides them in their courses. The ethnographer has 
studied the peculiarities of the races, he has met with 
widely different conformations, and believes himself suffi 
ciently authorized to deny the unity of the human family. 
They conclude that nothing exists but matter, that God 
is a myth, and the soul " the dream of a dream." 


Such diabolical doctrines are also uttered in public 
meetings. Feuerbach, for instance, addressed workingmen 
thus : Let man alone be our Superior, our Father, our 
Judge, our Saviour, our fatherland, the end of all our 
being, and of all our powers. Do you wish to secure a 
durable peace for civil society ? ^ell, then, labor, first of 
all, at the simplification of humanity, which can never be 
accomplished without first getting rid of Christianity." 
Marr, the head of an infidel club, reported : u Soon I 
shall have made all my hearers the personal enemies of 
God." Baker spoke thus : " Religion shall not dnly be 
banished from education, it must also totally be banished 
from the human mind. Our party does not care for fre^e- 
dom of conscience; what it wants, and is determined to 
have, is the necessity of believing nothing. To attain our 
end, we must entirely overturn all the elements of existing 
society, in order to establish our own principles. 77 

" An honest man, 77 says Quinet, " can be his own God. 77 
Terminier exclaims : u Spinosa is great, because he does 
not fear to make himself the rival of Jesus Christ. The 
Nazarite proclaimed a man-God j but the Dutchman pro 
claimed a God-world. 77 

Matter teaches that, to reestablish Order, " we must 
ihstitute the community of land, the community of pro 
perty, the community of women. The more man frees 
himself from all that stuff which the vulgar call religion, 
the more does he honor and become like the Supreme 
Being. 77 The blasphemies of other infidels are too numer 
ous and too infamous to be mentioned. 

In Germany, they have rejected Christian marriage, 
and established civil marriage in its stead. In Denmark, 
they have declared Christian baptism to be unnecessary. 


In other countries they have abolished the oath ; the most 
talented Protestant ministers, e. #., Uhlrich Strauss, have 
preached against prayer and good works. In Berlin, 
the Rome of Freemasonry, u priests" have been * coii- 
secrated" for the secret mysteries of heathenism. 

12. Two Classes of Masons. 

Those who profess the Masonic principles, "Atheism, or, 
at best, Deism, in religion j anarchy in politics ; Materialism 
and Rationalism in philosophy ; and hatred of J^sus 
Christ in all things," are divided into two classes : 1. 
Those few who know what they are, and what they import, 
and who see the end to which they are impelled by malice. 
2. That legion, who do not keep any end in view, and 
are ignorant of what the principles import, but who have 
allowed themselves to be fascinated by the other class, 
and have adopted the principles without examination, and 
then defend them through prejudice. Or, perhaps, they 
have thought one part of those principles good, and then 
illogically accepted them alL They assort, for the civil 
authority, the right to regulate all masters relating to 

Some of these seduced and deluded people wish to 
modernize the institutions of Jeisus Christ, or to ad^pt 
them to the exigencies of the time, but yet shrink from 
opposing the work of God s infinite wisdom. To this 
class our holy Father, Pope Pius IX, alluded, when he said, 
in one of his allocutions : " There are some who rule the 
destinies of nations, and who, through jealousy of the 
influence exercised by the Church upon the peoples, 
desire to subject her to their good pleasure, by changing 
the divine constitution to suit modern views, and to 


render this Institution, which has come from God, and is 
immutable in its principles, entirely human." 

Others renounce violence, and wish to carry out their 
principles only by means of " right " and law. They 
, discover a right for spoliating the clergy ; a right for sup 
pressing monasteries j a right for separating from the 
Church of Rome ; a right for reducing the influence and 
diminishing the property of landlords ; a right for intro 
ducing legal concubinage (civil marriage) ; a right to take 
all education out of the hands of the Church, etc. They 
have a number of misty expressions to denote their policy. 
They are cursed by the Lord : il Wo to you that call 
evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, 
and light for darkness. . . . Wo to you that justify the 
wicked for gifts, and take away the justice of the just 
from him. Therefore, as the tongue of the fire devoureth 
the stubble, and the heat of the flame consumeth it : so 
shall their root be as ashes, and their bud shall go up as 
dust." (Isa. v, 22-24.) " Wo to them that make wicked 
laws : and when they write, they write injustice." (Isa. 
x, 1.) "Wo to him that buildeth up his house in injus 
tice." (Jer. xxii, 13.) 

There . are others (the Moderates, or Conservative 
party) who differ from their opponents only in pace, not 
in principles. They shrink from moving of their own 
accord. They desire to conciliate all parties, and are, 
therefore, sure to serve the cause of the worst party. 

Although the majority in each class may be led by the 
nose, yet these poor ignorant and silly creatures, must be 
remmded that they are without excuse. For the Church 
has, without ceasing, proclaimed the true doctrines, and 
pointed out the sophisms in the principles of their seducers. 


There are others, of whom our holy Father, Pius IX 5 
in his Encyclical Letter, of Nov. 21, 1873, speaks as fol 
lows : 


" Some of you may perhaps be surprised, Venerable 

Brethren, that the war which is carried on at this time 

* f * 

against the Catholic Church extends so far and wide. 

But whoever is acquainted with the character, aims and 
purposes of the sects be they Freemasons, or by whatever 
name they are known and compares them with the 
character and extent of the strife, which, throughout 
nearly the whole world, is waged against the Church, can 
not hesitate to assign the cause of our present calamities 
to the craft and conspiracy of the same sects. From them 
is made up the synagogue of Satan, which is marshalling 
its forces, and preparing to engage, hand to hand, against 
the Church of Christ. From their first beginnings they 
have been denounced to the kings and to the nations by 
our predecessors, who have watched over Israel j again 
and again have they condemned them, nor have we our 
selves failed in this our duty. Would that the supreme 
pastors of the Church had been more firmly believed by 
those who could have warded off so terrible a plague ! 
But the sect, winding along by crooked ways, never ceas 
ing its task, beguiling many with its cunning craft, is now 
bursting forth from its hiding-places, and boasting itself 
to be all-powerful. These sinful associations, having 
greatly increased the number of their adherents, fancy 
that they have now attained their ends, and all but reached 
the goal set before them. Succeeding in this object, after 
which they have so long hankered the possession of the 
chief power in many places they are now boldly using 
the strength and power they have acquired, that the Church 


/ / / 

of God may be reduced to the most grinding slavery ; that 

it may be uptorn from its foundations, and defaced in the 
divine marks with which it shines conspicuous j in a word, 
that, shaken, shattered, and overthrown by many blows, it 
may, if possible, be utterly bh/tted out from the world. " 
(From the New York Freeman s Journal.) 

To this class belong, 1, those Freemasons who recog 
nize a Supreme Being, but do not recognize Jesus Christ, 
and his mission. 2. Those who not only refuse to recog 
nize Jesus Christ, but also get rid of the Supreme Being, 
by substituting something else. They are called Pantheists. 
3. Those who push equality and fraternity to their 
logical conclusions, and thus annihilate all authority, 
human and divine. They are the Socialists. 4. Those 
who wait in taverns for the moment when they may 
spring upon the rich, and glut their passion for rapine. 
Others sigh, at universities, for the time when they 
may help to inaugurate a new era, by establishing 
the above-mentioned principles of infidelity. Others who 
are profound thinkers and deep intriguers, have got into 
the various public offices, and, as permanent secretaries 
or head clerks, influence ministers, or prepare to hand 
to young and ardent government officials bills embody 
ing the step toward their revolutionary views which it is 
judged advisable, at the time, to get enacted ; who falsify 
returns, and even dispatches ; or who write articles for 
the newspapers, with the same object steadily in view. 
Others again are gentlemen and ladies of fashion, who 
move in gilded salmons, playing their parts by dropping 
innuendoes ; by hinting aw^y an honest man s character j 
by drawing ministers with the cords of love 5 by gam 
bling with rising young men, in order to assist them with 


money ; by ferreting out some shameful crime, so as to 
enslave the titled or official criminal, and so forth. These 
have learned how to use their instruments : the vanity, 
pride, jealousy, folly, ambition, rapacity, and carnal psls- 
sions of others. 

Again, there are others, who deny all that is not sense 

nd matter. They get wholly rid of the Supreme Being, 

and of the soul, and of all religion ; but yet they are 

content, contemptuously, to let others enjoy their own 

opinions. They are the Positivists. 

Others again add to positivism a furious, maniacal 
hatred of Christianity. 

All these classes of men aim at the destruction of 
Christianity. When Napoleon I was in Italy, the com 
mands, directions, and letters which he received from the 
government in France, were filled with burning incentives 
to destroy the pope, the Catholic Church, and all religion. 
When the Revolution had gained head in Rome (1849), 
the massacres of San Callisto occurred, and the orgies of 
the Capitol, and the sacking of churches, and the obscene 
profanations of the sacred vessels ; and blasphemies against 
Christ were publicly uttered. Such deeds revealed the 
character of Masonic principles, and filled Europe with 
horror. (See u Popular Errors," by Lord Montagu.) 

13. Success of the Masonic Hammer. 

Whenever the servants of Satan wish to provoke the 
servants of God to revolt, they know how to do it. " Is 
it true," said Nabuchodonosor, " Sidrach, Misach, and 
Abdenago ! " who were the disloyal subjects of his day, 
11 that you do not worship my gods, nor adore the golden 
statue that I had set up V "Quite true," they replied j 


and then he cast them into the fiery furnace, with much 
da mage to those who laid hold of them, but none at all to 

" Obe y the emperor/ said the Roman prefects to the 
primitive Christians, u and sacrifice to the national gods." 
" We cannot do it," was their tranquil answer, as the per 
secutor already knew it would be. 

The persecution in Germany, Italy, and other parts of 
the world, has not even the merit of a novelty. It pro 
poses to convict Catholics of disloyalty, and in order to do 
it, is obliged to imitate the legislation of the Babylonian 
king, to invent laws which their framers know that 
Catholics cannot obey. It could never be proved that a 
good Catholic could not be a good citizen. Nobody ever 
dreamed that Christian devotion was opposed to civic virtue. 
Facts have always been all the other way. It would be 
monstrous to contend, in the face of all history, that the 
Catholic Church had ever lent her aid to tumult and 
sedition. She has suffered wrongs, but never inflicted 
them. Her children have been taught to say to certain 
rulers, u It is against our conscience," and then to accept 
the penalty, a prison or death. It was always safe to 
persecute them, for they were sure not to resist. If they 
refused to obey Caesar, they were quite willing that he 
should take their lives. Such rebels could hardly be 
considered dangerous to the State. It is not they who 
have ever brought kingdoms to ruin. How should they ? 
They never conspire ; their only weapon is prayer, and 
their only armor, patience. Even in pagan times, when 
C&sar was the avowed enemy of God, and to obey him 
would have been an act of apostasy, the Christian apolo 
gists, like St. Justin, St. Quadratus, and many more, 



always replied to their heathen accusers, fi Christians 
the most faithful subjects of the emperor, as long as the 
laws do not oppress our conscience. Our only crime is that 
we believe in Jesus Christ. If you kill us for that, kill." 
There is, and can be, no opposition between the spiritual 
and temporal powers, except when the " God-State " deifies 
itself, and pretends to control the human conscience. No 
law has any force against the law of God. "It is neither 
the antiquity nor the dignity of legislators," said Ter- 
tullian, "which makes their laws worthy of respect; but 
only justice. We have a right to resist a law, when it is 
unjust." Catholics have not forfeited that law, and neVer 
will. If they had not acted upon it in every age, eVen at 
the sacrifice of life, the whole world would at this hour 
have been pagan, and the kingdom of Christ would have 
ceased to exist. 

The enemies of our religion know this. Hence they 
make unjust laws, by which religion is made treason, and 
then punished with the penalties of treason. At this mo - 
ment hundreds of priests are thrown into prison, because 
they will not acknowledge the supremacy of the State in 
matters of faith. Since the earliest days of the persecu 
tion of the Church, it has ever been so. The Christians, 
under NeVo and other pagan emperors, suffered tdrtures 
and death, and the confiscation of their goods and lands, 
simply from their inability to conform to the State religion. 
One grain of incense thrown on the pagan altars would 
have saved them j but they preferred death to denial of 
their Lord. The cry of "treason" was raised then as 
now, and men s eyes were blinded with the like ftirious 
bitterness and passions, till wrong appeared right, and 
cruelty was justified by supposed patriotic necessity. 


There is, indeed, no persecution so dreadful as legal per 
secution. Popular violence is soon Over, and often easily 
avoided or overcome ; but legal cruelty acquires a certain 
respectability in the eyes of the majority, wears to many 
the appearance of justice, and places the recalcitrants in 
the dangerous position of rebels and traitors. 

In Italy, as Pius IX says, in his Allocution of March 
12, 1877, " the work of demolition and of general destruc 
tion of everything connected with the structure and order 
of the Church is almost consummated, if not to the extent of 
the desires and hatred of the persecutors, it is at least so 
far as concerns the sad heap of ruins they have succeeded, 
up to this time, in piling up. It is only necessary to 
glance at the laws and decrees promulgated since the 
commencement of the new administration, up to the 
present day, to realize fully what they have wrested 
from us, piece by piece, little by little ; how, day after 
day, and one after another, they took the means and 
resources we so much needed for the proper guidance and 
direction of the Catholic Church. Thus it is that the 
iniquitous suppression of religious orders has unfortunately 
deprived us of valiant and useful auxiliaries, whose work 
is absolutely necessary for the transaction of the affairs of 
ecclesiastical congregations, and for the performance of 
so many of the diities of our ministry. This iniquitous 
suppression has at the same time destroyed, here in this 
Holy City, many asylums in which were domiciled the 
religious of foreign nations^ who were wont to repair to 
this metropolis, at stated periods, to revive their minds, and 
to render an account of their stewardship. And it has 
gone so far as to tear up even the very root of healthful 
and saving plants which bore fruits of benediction and peace 


to the farthermost ends of the earth. This same faltal 
suppression which has struck these colleges, established 
in Koine for holy missions, for the training of worthy 
laborers, willing fearlessly to bear the light of the Gospel 
even into the most remote and barbarous regions, has 
unfortunately, by this very act, deprived so m&ny people 
of most salutary succors of piety and charity, to the great 
detriment of human welfare and civilization, both of which 
spring from the holiness, the teachings, and the virtues 
of our religion. But these laws, already so cruel in 
themselves, and so diametrically opposed to the interests, 
not only of religion, but also of human society, have been 
still more aggravated by the addition, which the ministers 
of the government have made, of new laws which forbid, 
under the severest penalties, the living in common and 
under the same roof of religious families, the admission 
of novices, all religious professions among the regulars 
of either sex. So soon as religious orders were dispersed, 
the work and project of destruction was directed toward 
the secular clergy j and then was enacted the law by 
which we, and the pastors of the Italian people, were to 
see, with the deepest sorrow, young seminarians, the hope 
of the Church, wickedly torn from the sanctuary, and 
forced, at the very age when they should most solemnly 
consecrate themselves to God, to don the shoulder-knot of 
the secular militia, and to lead a life utterly at variance 
with their education, and the spirit of their vocations. 

" Nor is this all ; other unjust laws have been enacted, by 
which the entire patrimony which the Church held by the 
most sacred, inviolable, and ancient rights, has been in a 
great measure taken from her, to substitute in its place, 
and only in part, some paltry revenues, which are entirely 



at the meYcy of the uncertain vicissitudes of the times, and 
of the good-will and pleasure of the public power. We 
have, likewise, been compelled to deplore the occupation, 
and the transformation to profane usages, after the lawful 
possessors, without any distinction, had been driven forth, 
of a large number of buildings erected by the piety of the 
faithful, often at very great sacrifices, and which were 
worthy of the days of Christian Rome, and which offered 
a peaceful asylum to virgins consecrated to God, and to the 
families of the regulars. 

" They have also removed from our control, and from the 
care of the holy ministry, many pious works and institu 
tions consecrated to charity and to the exercise of benevo^ 
lence, many of which, devoted to the alleviation of poverty 
and other miseries, had been established by the Sover 
eign Pontiffs themselves, our predecessors, and through 
the pious liberality of foreign nations j and if a few of these 
works of public charity still exist under the vigilance of 
the Church, we are assured that a law that will not long 
be delayed, will either take them from us, or abolish them 
altogether. This is at least what is clearly and unmistak 
ably announced by public documents.* 

"During the last ten years," says Signor Merzario, when speaking of 
the "Clerical Abuses " Bill of the Italian government, "the Pope has 
been deprived of the temporal power which was for a thousand years 
in the possession of the papacy; and a numerous cohort of cardinals, 
prelates, and ecclesiastics, were on a sudden deprived of all authority 
and name. In this last decade of years, very many bishops, chapters 
and court dignitaries found their means sensibly diminished, and 
several of them were reduced to a necessitous life. In the last decade, 
more than four thousand monastic houses were suppressed, in which 
were more than fifty thousand persons, between friars and nuns, the 
greater part of whom were forced to abandon their ancient homes, to 
break inveterate customs, and to wander hither and thither, in search 


11 We have, moreover, and we refer to it with the deep 
est anguish, seen public and private instruction, in 
letters and arts, wrenched from the authority and dhVc- 
tion of the Church; and the mission of teaching confided 
to men whose faith was not aboVe suspicion, or to avowed 
enemies of the Church, who have not shrunk from public 
professions of atheism. But these traitorous children of 
the Church were not satisfied with having seized, invaded 
or destroyed so many institutions of such vast importance. 
They must needs throw still more obstacles in. the way of 
the free exercise of the spiritual mission of the ministers 
of the sanctuary. They have accomplished this criminal 
object through the law recently passed by the Chamber of 
Deputies, under the name of the Law on Clerical Abuses, 7 
by virtue of which they impute as a crime and misde 
meanor to bishops as well as priests, and they visit, with 
severe penalties, such acts as authors of the said law 
comprise under the insidious name of perturbation of 
conscience, which they call piiblic, or of perturbation of the 
peace of families. By virtue of this law, also, all words 
or writings whatsoever, by which ministers of religion 
may consider it incumbent upcfn them, by reason of their 
charge, to point out and disapprove of laws, decrees, or 
Other acts of civil authority, as contrary either to the laws 
of religion, or to the laws of God and of his Church, will 

of a roof to cover them ; while some, who were aged and infirm, were 
compelled by the slenderness of their pension to hold out their hands 
for alms. And lastly, in this decade, more than eight hundred millions 
of capital, in landed and chattel property, possessed by secular and 
regular clergy, were taken by the State, and went to benefit other cor 
porations or private persons ; and many sources of income were cut 
short, or taken away from the remaining clergy, who were burdened, 
morecrver, with severe taxes. 


be equally subject to punishment, as well as the work 
of those who may have published or distributed these said 
writings, regardless of the rank of the ecclesiastical 
authority, or the source from which it emanates. Once 
this law is passed and promulgated, a lay tribunal will be 
permitted to define whether, in the administration of the 
sacraments ana in the preaching of the word of God ? tho 
priest has disturbed, and how he has disturbed, the public 
conscience and the peace of families ; and the condition 
of the bishop and priest will be such that their voices can 
be restricted and silenced, equally with that of the Vicar 
of Jesus Christ, who, although declared in his person, 
through political reasons, exempt from all penalties, is 
none the less supposed to be punished in the person of 
those who may have been accomplices in his fault. This is, 
in fact, what a minister of the kirigdom, in the Chamber 
of Deputies, did not hesitate to declare openly, when, 
speaking of us, he freely avowed that it was neither new 
nor, obsolete in the laws, nor contrary to the rules, the 
science, or the practice of criminal law, to punish the 
accomplices in a crime, when the chief author could not 
be reached. Whence it becomes clear that, in the inten 
tion of those who govern, it is against our person also that 
the force of this law is directed; so that, when our words 
or acts shall come in contact with this law, the bishops or 
priests who may have repeated our words or executed 
our orders, must suffer the penalty of this pretended 
crime, of which we, as chief author, will be condemned 
to bear the inculpation of the offence. 

" This, then, Venerable Brethren, is how not only so 
many asylums and institutions which ages have built up, 
which revolutions have not been able to destroy, and which 


are so necessary to the administration of the Church, have 
been destroyed amongst us, by the violence and spirit of 
destruction of our enemies ; but how, too, they have suc 
ceeded, by the most criminal means, in making it impossible 
for the Church to perform that sublime mission of teach 
ing and watching over the salvation of the souls she 
received from her Divine Founder, by decreeing the most 
severe penalties whereby to close the mouths of her minis 
ters, who, in teaching the people to observe all that Je^sus 
Christ has ordained, and in assisting, in season and out of 
season, in reminding, supplicating, and reproving in all 
patience and wisdom, are simply doing what they are 
commanded to do by divine and ecclesiastical authority. 
For now we pass over in silence other dark machinations 
on the part of the assailants of the Church, from which, 
as we know, some of the public ministers themselves 
withheld neither their counsels nor their encouragement, 
machinations which tend to prepare for the Church days 
of tribulation still more severe, or to create occasions of 
schisms on the occasion when the election of a new Pt>n- 
tiff will take place, or to impair the exercise of spiritual 
authority by the bishops directing the churches of Italy " 
(Freeman 1 s Journal, April 7, 1377.) 

To sum-up of the grievances of the Holy Father in his 
Allocation : " Those who pretend that the pope is free at 
Rome, and proclaim his pretended liberty, have wrested 
from him all the means of governing the Universal Church. 
They have driven away from the central houses of the 
great orders at Rome the men who are the assessors of 
the administrative departments of Catholicity; they have 
taken possession of the institutions which Christian peoples 
and their princes, and, above all, the Sovereign Pontiff, 



have founded at Rome, to be for the whole universe 
sources of charity, learning, and apostolic labor; they 
have taken from the Head of the Church the Roman uni 
versities, and forbidden him to open others j they have 
laid the axe to the door of the priesthood, by compelling 
the Levites to military service ; and now, by a new law, 
they have struck a blow at this priesthood, in its Head, by 
placing a guard at the gate of the Vatican to prevent 
the word of Peter from coming forth and reaching the 
children whom God has given him in all lands. It 
is, therefore, an infamous and most execrable hypo 
crisy on the part of the infidel Italian government to 
proclaim to the world that the Holy Father is perfectly 

u How can the personal freedom of the pope be said to 
be guaranteed, when the agents of his will are imprisoned ? 
The pope himself may rest tranquilly in the Vatican; 
but, if the emissaries of his authority are subjected to 
penalty, the exercise of that authority is made penal. It 
is the pope who is morally the victim ; his agents only 
suffer materially. Who does not see that the punishment 
of speech is equivalent to the imposition of silence, and 
that silence, in the Supreme Pastor of the Church, is the 
complete abdication of his office 1 " 

In Switzerland, the Catholic Churches and schools are 
closed, the pastors of the flock exiled, the flock scattered, 
or left to the tender mercies of apostate priests. 

" In Prussia, the six following bishops have been deposed 
by the government : the Archbishops of Gnesen-Posen 
and Cologne, the Prince-Bishop of Breslau, the Bishops 
of Paderborn and Minister, and the Auxiliary Bishop of 
Posen. The proceedings against the Bishop of Lirnburg 


/ / 

and Bishop Namzanowski are still going on. The Sees 

of Treves and Fulda are vacant by death. 

* l About six hundred members of different orders and 
congregations have had to leave the diocese of Cologne, 
amongst whom are one hundred and twenty priests, who 
had been active in the cure of souls. 

u The following houses have been dissolved : the Car 
thusians in Hayn, near Rath ; the Franciscans in Aix-la- 
Chapelle, Hardenburg and Diisseldorf; the Dominicans 
in Diisseldorf; the Jesuits in Aix-la-Chapelle, Bonn, 
Essen, and Cologne ; the Lazarists in Cologne, Neuss, Miin 
stereifel, Malmedy, Bedburg ; the Trappists in Mariawald , 
the Redemptorists in Aix-la-Chapelle ; the Congregation 
of the Holy Ghost in Marienthal j the Christian Brothers 
in Burtscheid j the Poor Brothers of St. Francis in Co 
logne j the Alexian Brothers in Aix-la-Chapelle. Besides 
these, the following have been expelled : the Benedictine 
Nuns in Bonn and Viersen ; the poor Clares in Deren- 
dorf; the Carmelite Nuns in Aix-la-Chapelle, Cologne 
and Neuss ; Sisters of Notre Dame in Essen ; the Ursu- 
lines in Hersel, Cologne, and Diisseldorf j the Sisters of 
the Poor Child Jesus from fifteen houses ; the Sisters of 
Charles Borromeo, from the Orphanage in Cologne j the 
Sifters of Christian Charity in Crefeld, Solingen, Steele, 
and Viersen j the Sisters of the Holy Cross in Rath j 
the Sisters of St. Francis in Villich ; of St. Salvator in 
Miihlheim, on the Rhein ; and of St. Vincent in Norf, near 
Neuss. In the archdiocese of Cologne there are ninety 
four parishes without a pastor, sixty-one without a citrate. 

"In the diocese of Paderborn ninety priests have died 
since the May Laws, and there are none to supply their 


"Iu the diocese of Minister sixty parishes are with 
out a priest. 

"In the diocese of Treves at this time, about one hundred 
and fifty parishes are without any priest, and the number 
of the faithful thus deprived of the consolation of the 
sacred rites, even at the terrible moment of death, amounts 
to about 1 50,000. 

"In the diocese of Limburg, seventeen parishes in that 
of Hildesheim, eleven (with 6,640 souls) in that of Breslau, 
sixty-four in the Prussian part of the archdiocese of 
Ohnutz, nineteen and in Sigmaringen, eleven parishes are 
without priests. 

"About the same proportion is vacant in the diocese of 
Fulda. Osnabriick, Ermland, Gnesen-Posen, and Culm." 
(London Tablet, April 21. 1877.) 

" The list of priests (over one hundred), and others in the 
diocese of Treves who have recently suffered persecution, 
naturally calls for some remark. The number of these 
persons is so large, and the severity of their punishment 
is so great in proportion to the pettiness of their offences, 
_that we cannot but see in the proceedings a resolute de 
termination on the part of the government to cripple in 
every way the action of the Catholic Church. But that 
which fills us with astonishment is not merely that clergy 
men and others are fined, imprisoned, banished, their goods 
seized, their fifrniture sold by public auction, the salary 
owing to them sequestered, and their hearts broken and 
lives cut short by worry and imprisonment, but that the 
courts of Europe, Catholic as well as Protestant, look on 
with perfect indifference, and offer not, by means of their 
ambassadors, one word of remonstrance. If the case 
were reversed, nay, if Catholics in any country of Europe 


persecuted Protestants with one-tenth of the bitter injustice 
now exercised in Germany, there would arise one uni 
versal cry of indignation from cabinets, the press, public 
meetings, and every other organ by which public opinion 
is expressed. Not only were the Falck Laws in them 
selves odious and intolerable, but the execution of them is 
carried out with systematic cruelty. It is enough that a 
priest should offend the magistrates or the i Old Catholics ; 
that he should express his mind in a sermon on the legis 
lation of the day ; that he should allow another priest or 
curate to say Mass, if he happens to be out of favor with 
the authorities ; or that a layman should cry * hurrah ! J 
when his pastor is liberated from prison, or should write 
an article in a newspaper which the officials of Prince 
Bismarck consider adverse to his policy, it is enough 
that these trivial transgr